Rorate Caeli

Transalpine Redemptorists to establish contact with Rome

The Congregation of Transalpine Redemptorists, a community of Traditional priests historically linked to the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) and whose main house is in the island of Papa Stronsay, Scotland, declares that it is willing to discuss with the Holy See, considering the new situation created with the advent of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Can we choose to remain where we are under these circumstances? We have argued for years now of our "state of necessity" and of the resulting supplied jurisdiction that the Church supplies to us. But can we continue to argue this when ordinary jurisdiction is offered to us without any compromise in the Faith? Can we choose freely to remain in this irregular canonical situation where we are? In other words, can a state of necessity be the object of a choice without moral fault? Clearly not And on the other hand: are the authorities ready to accord us regular faculties? If the answer to this second question is affirmative, then we are no longer in the same case of necessity!

All these serious considerations, dear friends, move us to go and see what Rome has to say. Let not our contacts with Rome be understood as meaning that we will break off our friendship with the Society of Saint Pius X and the other traditionalist organisations around the world. On the contrary, we positively want with all our hearts to remain in contact, sharing all that we may learn with Bishop Fellay and the other heads of traditional orders for the good of tradition as a whole.

Only time will tell if the moment has come for an agreement with Rome. Prudence requires of us to proceed slowly and cautiously, reflecting well at each step of the discussions. In this, we will rely on the continued support and advice of our traditionalist friends. Our agreement must be founded upon the fundamental principles of the Church and the safeguarding of the Faith.

While asking for your prayers for this matter, we place ourselves under the patronage and protection of our Mother of Perpetual Succour, She ‘who by Herself has crushed all the heresies in the whole world’ qui cunctas haereses interemit. May She, whom St Alphonsus ever invoked as the Mother of Good Counsel, teach us to be "wise as serpents and simple as doves", while showing us how to "generously open our hearts to make room for everything that the Faith itself allows."

In the octave of Our Lady of Good Counsel
28 April, 2008

Fr Michael Mary, C.SS.R.
Fr Anthony Mary, C.SS.R.
Most relevant excerpt (read full letter).


  1. Anonymous12:47 AM

    Domine, ut videant. Ut sit!

  2. Anonymous1:07 AM

    Excellent news!
    May Almighty God and Our Blessed Lady always look out for the Transalpine Redemptorists!

    Deo Gratias.

    Dan Hunter

  3. Anonymous1:31 AM

    That's how it's done, Bishop Fellay. God bless you, gentlemen. Whether or not your road brings you home, your principles are sound. My heart and my prayers go out to you.

  4. What a tragedy! Rome stills hangs onto the Novus Ordo Missae and Vatican II and the Redemptorists think that the fight is over. We will see, if they are regularized, whether they will be able to freely criticize the Novus Ordo religion.

  5. Anonymous1:45 AM

    Exactly what I wrote on the letter on the Letter to Friends and Benefactors Nº72.

    The alleged "state of necessity" is at the core of the problem of the SSPX.

    The necessity of Mons. Lefebvre was none other than a Bishop in order to pursue Tradition.

    This Bishop has been offered since the years 2000 when the Fathers of Campos accepted the Apostolic Administration.

    The lifting of the excommunciations taht was imposed upon the four Bishops also has been offered by Rome.

    In fact, the state of necessity has ceased, and so if the SSPX doesn't want to reach an agreement, it will actualize the ilicit of 1988.

  6. Anonymous3:17 AM

    Br. Anthony, I hope and pray for your return to the Catholic Faith, the faith of Pastor Aeternus.

    You clearly have a problem with the Dogma of Indefectibility, to say the least.

  7. Anonymous3:32 AM

    Fr. Alphonsus understands the difference between a "state of crisis" and a "state of necessity". These are not equivalent terms as some seem to imagine. The crisis rages on even while the state of necessity has come to a close.

    Gob Bless the Redemptorists!

  8. There are Transalpine Redemptorists who celebrate, not the Traditional Latin Mass, but a variety of Eastern Rites. I think their presence quite complicates the question of their regularization with Rome, because these "Eastern-Rite" Redemptorists will either have to become Latin or find a way to be canonically received into the sui juris Eastern Catholic CHurch of their preference. Even the Eastern-rite Jesuits, Franciscans and Benedictines are in some way canonically subject to the corresponding Eastern-rite hierarchs. As for "biritual" Latin priests, they too must be specifically authorized by the relevant Eastern Catholic body.

  9. This is fabulously good news; even St. Athanasius came in from the cold, and died a friend of the successor of Peter. There really was, and still is, a state of emergency, but it seems BXVI will ensure that the Redemptorists will be allowed to operate as they have. I hope he will lift the "excommunications" against SSPX Bishops next; we need these groups firmly in the Church right now, so we can start to rebuild the wreckage from the last 40 years.

  10. Anonymous4:46 AM

    The state of necessity is a "legal justification" that made an illicit not punishable.

    Example: a man because of hunger due to poverty or a financial crisis steals meal.

    The hunger is the state of necessity and not poverty or financial crisis.

    Other people, in prevision of this same situation could have gathered food.

    Make the comparison on one side between hunger and need of a Traditional Bishop and on the other side between poverty and crisis on the Church.

    The crisis on the Church must continue till God decides to put an end on her, but state of necessity ceases when Rome offers ordinary jurisdiction to a Traditional Bishop in an international level.

  11. Anonymous8:24 AM

    Since I have been making this exact argument of these Redemptorists now for the past eight years on the Internet, I obviously cannot disagree in principle. I am overjoyed!

    However, I notice that the superior quite rightly used the expression "ordinary jurisdiction". This is what is needed and what was offered to the S.S.P.X internationally in 2000 and actually granted to the Campos in 2002 (for however small a territory).

    This is what is needed. Anything less will not do. I have a request for these Transalpine Redemptorists: do not simply ask for something for yourselves. In the spirit of charity, ask for an international archdiocese 'ad personam' in which all traditional societies and orders could choose to work (but they could also opt to work under local bishops in particular places adn circumstances). This structure would be directly subject to the Pope and might be excluded from those countries which have signed concordats with Rome that would preclude the possibility (but with the ability to add them in those countries when possible). It might also be excluded from the Vatican City State, China, and a few hot spots, like my favourite country, North Korea (headed by that guy with the hair).

    The Redemptorists could accept a society of apostolic life which would work under this international archdiocese. The archdiocese can exist 'ad personam' (not the term used canonically) under Canon 372.2. The part about approval from episcopal conferences there would be waived by Rome on the grounds that it concerns several of them. The bishop or archbishop of this structure, the 'Archdiocese of St. Gregory the Great', would be chosen by the Pope. The structure would have its own cathedral (perhaps at Trento!) and would be able to incardinate diocesan priests and erect parishes and missions, like any diocese. The 1962 Liturgy would be its normative liturgy. It would also be able to reconcile independent chapels around the world.

    Now, as regards traditionalist societies of apostolic life and institutes of consecrated life, they would continue to incardinate their own priests and have their own proper liturgies (e.g the Redemptorists also use the Byzantine Liturgy). In particular places and circumstances, they could work under the auspices of the new international archbishop (but only to offer the 1962 Latin liturgy); in others, where more convenient, they could work under the local ordinary. In the case of the Transalpine Redemptorists, they could also work under Eastern-Rite local ordinaries, or even under the local Byzantine ordinary to offer the Byzantine Divine Liturgy and either the local Roman ordinary or the new Archdiocese of St. Gregory to offer the other. So it would be very flexible.

    Because this new archdiocese would not belong to any episcopal conference, it would establish its own holydays of obligation and set its own fasting laws. Its subjects would be those laics who are registered in one of its chapels. They would need to have a domicile within the territory of the local see where that chapel was situated (in order to put some limitation on membership). This would count for conferring the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Matrimony, and Holy Orders, and for burial rights. For the other Sacraments, of course, any faithful could repair to any priest having faculties where he lived. The existence of a chapel or church or mission of the international Archdiocese in the territory of any Latin diocese would enable its priests to have faculties in that same territory. So there would be a connexion between this new structure and the local sees of the Latin Church (since the new Archdiocese of St. Gregory would be a Latin structure).

    Please suggest all this to Rome. Whatever you do, don't take anything less than an ordinary structure, either for your own group or more generally. But the latter is better!

    Note that, once established, the S.S.P.X could then elect to work under it--or so could break-away groups from the S.S.P.X, groups such as the Institute of the Good Shepherd.

    In other words, since the S.S.P.X refuses to take a structure and accept regularisation, Rome could grant an international structure for all those who *will* take it. The Pope could outflank the S.S.P.X bishops. This might force them in. Outside such a structure, could there be anything but decline?

    Peter Karl T. Perkins
    Victoria, B.C.,
    Dominion of Canada

  12. They never said the fight was over, what has changed is that they now feel they are able to continue that fight inside the Church thanks to Pope Benedict making a place for them within the Church.

  13. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Let us give thanks to God for this moment of grace, but let us be unceasing in prayer that the devil, external pressures (on both sides), and those temptations that arise from our own nature and vices, will be kept at bay. Let both Rome and these Religious be at peace and proceed in the Peace and Light of Christ. Amen. May St. Alphonsus, the Blessed Mother, and the Holy Angels pray for them and protect them. And for my own part, if he be in heaven, I ask Dom Gerard Calvet to pray also. Amen.

  14. And on the other hand: are the authorities ready to accord us regular faculties? If the answer to this second question is affirmative, then we are no longer in the same case of necessity!

    My friends that is a big IF and we shall see what the answer will be. As I have said in a post elsewhere, the Holy Father has within himself the power to with one stroke of a pen wash away the excommunications and proved a juridical structure necessary for the SSPX and other groups which have sprung forth from its roots the ability to function without having to give up their identity and the cause for which they have struggled these last 40 some-odd years.

    The Holy Father knows, being intimately involved with negotiations in 1988 that there was a state of necessity then and he knows the same is the case now in 2008. With all the problems affecting our holy church in these "modern" times who can argue that fact? And, to continue to ostracize the groups that have steadfastly held to Tradition (per St. Paul in II Thessalonians) strains the limits of credulity. we continue pray that the Holy Father will receive the grace necessary to act to restore Justice in the Church.

  15. Anonymous1:04 PM

    The Transalpine Redemptorists' blog site also reports that they have felt compelled to recall their three seminarians from the SSPX seminary in Australia due to undue pressures upon the seminarians from the rector there (Fr. Scott?). We must really pray for these men now as they go through the process of discussion with Rome and discernment. The devil is already roaring at them, evidently.

  16. I thought I had an Orthodox Diocese. This Easter I was - for the moment at least - disappointed. See the message Hristos a înviat, mais comment va notre évêque? (if you read French) on de retour-blog

  17. Anonymous5:16 PM

    On Paul Haley's quite good comments:

    I don't think that there has been a state of necessity for the S.S.P.X since 2000 except insofar as their condition justifies a continued rightful disobedience *pending* negotiations to reconcile with Rome. In other words, they have the obligation not only to go to Rome but to run to Rome in order to conclude an arrangement.

    The case of the Transalpine Redemptorists is slightly different, since they may have been under the impression, in the past, that the S.S.P.X was in the process of doing this. But their action now is exactly right.

    However, they should not conclude an arrangement unless they are offered a 'personal' diocese or its equivalent, which is international and exempt. This is essentially what has been offered to the S.S.P.X since 2000. If Rome deems that these Redemptorists are too few in number to justify such a structure--and that would be reasonable--they shoud ask for one which would include them but embrace others. This is what I have been advocating. It would be, say, an exempt international 'personal' archdiocese, headed by a prelate chosen by the Pope. It would be able to incardinate its own clerics, establish parishes and missions, and reconcile independent chapels; and its normative liturgy would be that of 1962.

    To say that it is exempt means that it would be directly subject to the Holy See and not part of any ecclesiastical province.

    To say that it is international means that it exists in many countries but not necessarily all. In some countries, concordats signed by the Holy See and various countries would exclude it, at least for a time.

    To say that it is 'personal' means that, like the Campos structure, its subjects are those who are registered in one of its parishes or missions. I would put a restriction on this in order to respect the rightful concerns of local bishops. A parish of the structure could not be larger than the local diocese in the territory in which it is situated (or, perhaps, larger than any two local dioceses), and only parishes could register subjects. Missions could exist on other bases but could not register subjects. To create a parish, the new structure would have to offer Mass on an every-Sunday basis for three consecutive months, and it would cease being a parish (reverting to a mission) if it failed to offer a certain number of Sunday Masses (e.g. 10) over any three-month period AND if the local bishop claimed jurisdiction because of this. Reversion to mission status would mean that those registered in that parish would also revert to being subjects of the local bishop.

    Subjects of the structure would receive Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, and Holy Orders under its auspices (also, burial rights). Anyone could receive the other Sacraments from its priests, who would have faculties in the parishes or missions to which they were attached.

    A so-called 'personal' structure like this can be erected under Canon 372.2, but I think that there must be a restriction to registration of laics in a local parish of the structure; otherwise, the entire thing could become unpractical.

    To say that it would be an archdiocese would mean that it is completely independent of all other dioceses. It would be a proper see, rather than a a local see.

    It could have a proper calendar and its own holydays of obligation and fasting laws. It could also forbid Communion standing and in manu (except insofar as this is necessarily for medical reasons).

    The various societies of apostolic life and institutes of consecrated life (especially traditionalist societies and institutes) would have the freedom to work under its auspices at any particular place, but they would retain the right to work under the auspices of the local ordinaries as well. Those societies which use both Eastern Divine liturgies and the T.L.M. would have the freedom to seek faculties for their different liturgies from different ordinaries. The local Roman bishops would be able to grant a rite to use a Roman Rite which, according to Rome, includes the 'extraordinary form'. The new international structure would be restricted so that it can only grant a 'privilege' to use the so-called extraordinary form in public worship. This would not remove any priest's right to celebrate according to the N.O.M., but only restrict public celebrations (regularly-scheduled) of the N.O.M. in cases in which a priest is working only under the auspices of the new structure.

    We need our own international diocese or its equivalent (e.g. an apostolic administration or archdiocese). Without this, the P.C.E.D. will keep chipping away at our Mass and forcing us into NewMass practices.

    I'd call the new structure The Archdiocese of St. Gregory the Great.


  18. Anonymous5:17 PM

    If you think that the state of necessity in the Church is only because trads dont have their own bishop, then I ask you what world are you living in?!

    Most dioceses are in defacto schism, being infiltrated by modernists and sodomites to such a level that progress for them is destroying parishes and churches, and saying no to every inspiration to return to sanity.

    The Redemptorists will feel the pinch when they find out what's really going on....

  19. Anonymous5:37 PM

    On the last comments:

    I agree that most dioceses are in a grave condition. But that, in itself, needn't permit faithful from protecting their faith. You cannot say that a state of necessity exists to disobey the Supreme Pontiff just because other legitimate authorities are in a state of schism: one schism or near-schism cannot, in itself, justify another.

    The reason for the state of necessity was a need to protect a liturgical norm that not only was never abrogated but, according to Cardinal Stickler, commenting on the findings of the 1986 Commission of Cardinals, was beyond the power of the popes to abrogate. This right to use the Traditional Roman Mass, now admitted in law by our current pope, was impeded for over thirty years. That abuse of power justified a case of necessity. But it cannot be just anything.


  20. I have a great respect for P.K.T.P. for we collaborated on another
    forum years ago and I know him to be truly a great and well-informed Catholic who hurts internally as much I do over the separation in the church.

    As I understand what you said, Karl, I believe you mean that Summorum Pontificum alleviated the state of necessity and I agree except that there are so many traditional priests out there who are denied faculties by local ordinaries that, de facto, there is another abrogation of the traditional rite but over incardination not the rites themselves.

    The worldwide apostolic administration with its own bishop or bishops would, I think, be the correct approach and if this has truly been offered to the SSPX and rejected by them I say: Shame on them.

    Perhaps they feel that they just cannot trust Rome because of all the scandals that have occurred in local dioceses but trust is a two-way street. Perhaps Rome feels that the once disobedient SSPX could again refuse to obey and turn again down the road to separation.

    In any case it seems to me that the salvation of souls should prompt both sides begin to trust one another again, even if it be in small steps. The welfare of the church demands that we work together for that laudable and, I believe, achievable goal.

  21. Anonymous7:43 PM

    This is wonderful news, indeed. As someone who was privileged to receive Confirmation from Abp. Lefebvre, I am filled with great love and admiration for all the good things I received while a member of the SSPX.

    With the advent of the Polish Pope, and his generous heart in reconciling traditionalists, I was able to regularize my own situation.

    Nevertheless, I continue to pray for the day our dear SSPX friends will be able benefit from the graces that will come with a regularized status.



  22. Anonymous8:19 PM

    I note that the T.A.R. are specifically saying that an ordinary structure is now being made available to them. This is HUGE NEWS:

    "Can we continue to argue this [state of necessity] when ordinary jurisdiction is offered to us without any compromise [to] the Faith?"

    Now, an ordinary jurisdiction is a diocese or its equivalent (cf. Canons 368, 371, 372--and 372.2 on personal dioceses especially).

    Earlier in the letter, the superiors say that the Pope has intervened directly to assist them:

    "We feel particularly touched by the personal intervention of the Pope in our favour."

    I am asking that everyone on this blog spread this news as widely as possible. It appears that the Holy See is offering to the T.A.R. what was essentially offered to the S.S.P.X in 2000: a jurisdiction which is ordinary, exempt, international, and personal.

    What I am suggesting is that the T.A.R. ask this for all of us. In fact, this must be in the works, at least as a 'project', since the T.A.R. are too small for their own personal apostolic administration.


  23. Anonymous8:53 PM

    PKTP, I think you are reading too much into it. By ordinary jurisdiction, Father means to say a regularized status -- without implying any paricular type of juridical solution. Also, I don't expect Father MM to attempt to create a one-sized-fits-all for each traditional community. He needs to do what is best for his community given their unique set of circumstances.

  24. Anonymous8:53 PM

    I remembered the Redemptorists in an extra rosary this morning. I am praying they will be regularized.

    When the Spouse of Christ is being abused, one does not run away, but rather, he ENTERS the fray to defend her.

  25. Anonymous9:33 PM

    This is of course excellent news for the Transalpine Redemptorists and if the Holy See establishes an Apostolic Prelature for them this is indeed worthy news, but as far as I know they are located on one tiny little island in the Orkneys and a few are in ChristChurch NZ.

    God bless those few priests and brothers and the small number of laymen attached to them for their holy work saving souls, but what about the rest of the world?

    Will the FSSPX recieve the same jurisdiction?
    As it stands now, the FSSPX cannot hear confessions validly nor can they perform marriages or confirmations.
    What is happening to the thousands of souls who either believe that they are recieving absolution or marriage or are denying the fact that the FSSPX do not have jurisdiction from diocesan ordinarys to hear confessions?

    Let us pray, as many have already pointed out, that the irregular traditional orders are given a special jurisdiction, so souls may really be saved.

    Kyrie Eleison.

    Dan Hunter

  26. Anonymous9:46 PM

    Dan, this is an easy fix as pointed out by Cardinal Castrillon. According to the Cardinal, it will only take a little generosity and humility on the part of the SSPX to pave the way towards unity.

  27. Anonymous10:30 PM

    Fr.Stephen, o.f.m. writes:
    Dear Friends, does anyone recognize how the state of necessity came to be? When, where, how and who had the power to protect against it or the power to unleash it? And who was given such power? And what is this state of necessity?

    Relativism is not its cause, it is already the symptom, the fruit and direct consequence of the planned neglect in the petrine power, for binding and loosing, having been abandoned. When, by whom and where?

    Bd. Pope John XXIII on October 11, 1962 sitting on the chair of Peter in St. Peter's Basilica uttered one strange sentence in his opening speech to the Second Vatican Council under the heading "How to Suppress Errors?":
    I must say, in that sentence a
    perverse deception mesmerized an entire world and it unleashed the so called global cultural revolution as its direct consequence, and our continued state of necessity. One must read the entire speech and particularly the section entitled "How to suppress errors." In a critical sentence, - there is no ambiguity here, - John said among other errors, now they are glaring:
    The her tradition the Church...

    "had always condemned errors... ...however, nowadays the Spouse of Christ prefers to apply the medicine of mercy, instead of severity..."
    Does anyone recognize that rooting out evil in errors is NOT MERCY? Or to point it out more clearly: that condemning errors is the ACT OF MERCY!

    This perverse sentence disguised or unrecognized since 1962 is the "crevice" or opening on the wall of the Church, which the father of lies awaited for thousands of years.
    Sister Lucia of Fatima referred to a "diabolical disorientation" of the prevailing neglect at the "highest level" of what the Most High since the beginning revealed to be as the true true and necessary spirit that can guarantee the truth to shine and to protect His people, that is by opposing, resisting, struggling against evil, the necessity of condemning evil in all forms of errors.
    Ever since the beginning of salvation history revelation itself, the prophets, the guides the saints, Our Savior Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostles, Evangelists, popes and faithful bishops and priests, and all who love God "the Truth, the Way and the Life," the "Light" of the world always opposed errors that confuse, steal, destory the life of God's people. When the Spouse of Christ today is blind-folded to errors and, since it became de facto, hidden but prevailing spirit that forbids to condemn errors, Truth became vulnerable and unloved, unprotected. Hence the state of necessity!
    This present emergency remains until a penitent successor of Peter returns to exercise his binding authority which, in union with its other half, guarantees immunity to Evil's power, against indefectibility to the Church.
    Unless the source of the state of necessity created by John XXIII is recognized, condemned and chained, the state of necessity remains. The twighlight, the fog, the double talk and purposeful ambiguity remain until errors once again will be clearly identified and resisted in its original source. The Mass is the vehicle of our Faith. It is the Faith that we must target, as I said elsewhere. Nor is Relativism the cause or source of the problem, it is the consequence of errors' free domain since John XXIII's blind-folded the Church on that tragic October 11 in 1962, when he equated mercy with blindness in the face of evil in errors. -- Fr. Stephen, o.f.m.

  28. Anonymous10:37 PM

    There is no such thing as an "Apostolic Prelature". There is a personal prelature but that is not an ordinary jurisdiction and we definitely don't want that. It is worthless.

    I could be reading too much into the Fathers' comments but I don't think so. Notice how carefully crafted their statement is. They definitely must know what an "ordinary jurisdiction" is. It is what was offered to the "S.S.P.X" in 2000 and granted to the Campos in January of 2002. Here is a quote of Bsp. Fellay in 2002, referring back to his earlier "Rolls Royce" quotation: "It is a wonderful Rolls Royce, since we would have ordinary jurisdiction . . . " And what expression does Fr. M.M. use: "ordinary structure".

    Morever, they claim that their state of necessity has ended owing to this offer by the Pope. But that means it must be more than regularisation because regularisation has been available to them since 1988. The F.S.S.P. and over thirty other societies of apostolic life and institutes of consecrated life have been regularised since 1988, including the I.P.B. only months before "Summorum Pontificum". So the prospect of regularisation cannot logically be the cause of their negotiations now.

    Let us pray that they ask for an exempt international and personal diocese for all of us. They would then be granted an institute of consecrated life, like the Canons of St. John Cantius (which also has bi-ritual faculties and has also be regularised long before S.P.). Their society could then operate under the new international archdiocese when convenient and under the local bishops when convenient.


  29. Anonymous10:40 PM


    I don't think that the T.A.R. is being offered its own diocese or its equivalent, because it is too small for that.

    I think--and hope and pray--that the Holy Father is considering such a structure to be made available to all traditionalist societies and orders. Since the T.A.R. could operate under it, it would have the benefit of the "ordinary structure". That must be it. Pray for this!!!!


  30. Anonymous11:33 PM

    Fr. Stephen, O.F.M. writing above
    meant "defectability" in place of "indefectability."

  31. Anonymous12:17 AM

    In my view, as I said, the "state of necessity" of Mons. Lefebvre consisted on the lack of a Bishop with international jurisdiction
    in order to pursue Tradition.

    Crisis on the Church is at the origin of various particular necessities: traditional Mass, traditional catechism, traditional sermons, etc

    But Tradition comes to us from Priests (and that was the necessity in 1976 -¡remember de "suspension a divinis"!) that comes to us from Bishops (and that was the necessity in 1988 -remember excommunications!)

    If, in 1988, Rome would had granted a traditional Bishop , Mons. Lefebvre wouldn't had the necessity to consecrate Bishops without the mandate of the Pope.

    On the contrary, crisis on the Church was already there in the seventies and nonetheless Mons. Lefebvre didn' t need to broke any canonical law.

    FSSP, ICK, IBP don't have a Bishop (they must be on the good wish of Rome for that)

    The Apostolic Administration of Campos has priests that are incardinated only in their diocesis-like canonical structure.

    A "canonical agreement" (due to submission to the Roman Pontiff)doesn' t signify a "doctrinal agreement" (in any case, "pastoral" teachings are not binding)

  32. Anonymous12:24 AM

    Come to my diocese and you will see a state of emergency. Except for a couple of priests saying the traditional Mass (and not on a regular basis), the SSPX is filling a void. Too many of you SSPX bashers have your head in the sand and are clinging to the letter of the law, rather than the spirit, and act like pharisees. I bet the SSPX bashers here have a regular parish they can go to, but here it is irregular at best. If I took some of the pharissee advice here, I would take my kids to the local church and risk their faith, because the SSPX is "bad". In nice terms, shove it! Have any of you read your local diocesan paper lately? Read and you will see what is the norm. I want more than anyone to have something regular, and have been supporting these local priests. But for now, the SSPX is prudent. They, more than you, would like to be regularized. The time is not right. Pray that the time will come. Also, do not give the Pope more power than what he has.

  33. Anonymous1:14 AM


    Using the term "shove it" only exhibts a non-Christian attitude and most certainly would not be approved of by any priest of the FSSPX.
    My little nephew just read this particular post and he asked me what "shove it" in this context meant.
    It pained me to explain it to him and he responded: "that man must be troubled".

    I have never "bashed" the FSSPX and my wife and I have to drive over an hour and a half one way to assist at the Tridentine Mass in our state wherever it is offered, since our former pastor had a nervous breakdown and started ranting about seeing Protestants where only God fearing Catholics live.

    Dan Hunter

  34. Anonymous1:19 AM

    To the last posters:

    The S.S.P.X was offered an exempt international and personal apostolic administration (equivalent in law to a diocese under Canon 371.2) in 2000. They were offered far more in 2000 than Abp. Lefebvre was prepared to accept in 1988.

    On another blog, someone had the temerity to imply that I had made this up. The commentary on it was intensive and needs no proof, but for those who want it, it's here:

    As for my situation, I was forced for years to repair to the Ukrainian Byzantine Rite to avoid the Novus Ordo circus, so please don't tell me that I haven't suffered too.

    Recently, our Mass was restored. Deo gratias!

    I do not attack the S.S.P.X, but disobedience is not a luxury; it can only be a necessity. When there is no longer a state of necessity, one must obey the Vicar of Christ.

    The state of necessity has ended with the offer of 2000. The T.A.R. realise this. They are right to seek a reconciliation.


  35. Anonymous1:53 AM

    Well said, Dan and PKTP. I think more and more people are coming to realize what you two are saying, and I think that this wil become more and more obvious as more and more traditionalist orders return to Rome in good faith. Clarity.

  36. Anonymous1:57 AM

    I wonder if the Transalpine Redemptorists' announcement was precipitated by Bp. Fellay's latest announcement on the subject of regularization. Surely they are too close together to be coincidental. Is it possible that the TAR were waiting for the SSPX to make some move toward reconciliation, but then decided to make their own move once the SSPX decided against it?

  37. Anonymous2:25 AM

    Dan, if I offended you I am sorry. I am not a troubled or bitter person by any means. It has to be said though. Too many of these good folks here have their head in the sand arguing over the SSPX, and their "legal" status. Schism, WHATEVER. I guess, according to the logic of some here, I should go to the local heresy pit as oppossed to a SSPX chapel.The SSPX is irregular at most, but certainly not schismatic. Pope Benedict has made the situation better for Tradition, but he still has a foot in both camps. All you have to do is listen to what was said at the U.N. Most, like I said, have their local church they can go to and do not have to make much effort. If I have a choice, I will attend the local church as opposed to a long drive with many children to a SSPX chapel. I have chosen this route before when possible. To my children, the Mass is the same whoever celebrates it. A long drive they do not always understand or appreciate. No better way to turn kids off from the Faith than with a weekly 2 hour one way trip. There is no FSSP, or regular Mass in this diocese as of now. The SSPX is the only real thing going for now in this diocese. Other dioceses are much better, and I would love to live in Lincoln, NE, for instance, but I am where I am now. By the way, my term "shove it" would be found humerous by many priests I know. Do not take it too literaly, it is more of an expression of frustration with the pharasaical (sp?) attitudes here.

  38. Anonymous2:46 AM

    To the last anon,

    You mention that there is no regular TLM in your Diocese.
    May I please ask what Diocese you live in?
    I believe that about three fourths of all American Diocese have a regular TLM.
    I am sorry to hear that yours is not among them.
    Not that I am some kind of TLM locating genie, but perhaps I can find one where others have not looked.
    Deo Gratias.
    Dan Hunter

  39. Anonymous2:58 AM

    Mr. Perkins,

    You wrote: "On another blog, someone had the temerity to imply that I had made this up...."

    I hope you weren't referring to me! I did ask you for a reference, in another thread on this blog, in regard to your statement that a worldwide diocese had been offered to the SSPX, and was refused. A request for a reference (which you weren't able to provide at the time) is simply that, a request for a reference; it wasn't an implication that you were making anything up.

    In that same thread, you mentioned that you were involved in those previous discussions in which the offer was made. Can you please elaborate on what your role was?

    Sean McCollister

  40. Anonymous3:07 AM

    'If you think that the state of necessity in the Church is only because trads dont have their own bishop, then I ask you what world are you living in?!

    Most dioceses are in defacto schism, being infiltrated by modernists and sodomites to such a level that progress for them is destroying parishes and churches, and saying no to every inspiration to return to sanity.'

    This is true.

    'I agree that most dioceses are in a grave condition. But that, in itself, needn't permit faithful from protecting their faith.'

    How are you supposed to do this? You have no control over the things that are needed to protect the faith; behaviour and selection of bishops, selection and training of seminarians, preaching and catechetical instruction by priests and Catholic schools. When these things are controlled by modernist heretics, as they are in many if not most places, you cannot do a single thing about them. Appealing to Rome will produce no results as Rome will not act to correct the situation. Saying that 'Summorum Pontificum' has removed any problems with a regularised situation with Rome is thus false. That seems to be the whole assumption behind Karl Perkins' proposal.
    That being said the situation for this monastery may well permit such a reconciliation, because their free-standing nature would make them not a risk.

  41. Anonymous3:09 AM

    PTKP, " This right to use the Traditional Roman Mass, now admitted in law by our current pope, was impeded for over thirty years" AND is STILL abrogated by that current pope's imposition of the Missal of 2008.

    This Supreme Pontiff reveled that Gaudium et Spes was "counter-syllabus," personally penned the "subsists in" ambiguity, has derided Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, implicitly denied Jesus twice by refusing to utter His Holy Name in the synagogue, and "freed" the Missal of 1962 only to become the "Missal of 2008."

    His actions as pontiff demonstrate that he is as able to resist the graces of the Holy Ghost while "subsisting in" the Chair of Peter as he resisted the graces of the Holy Ghost before.

    He must be watched as carefully as a viper.

  42. Anonymous3:12 AM


    Or where do they sell the rose colored glasses?

    Consider the factual complaints of the SSPX led traditional Catholics:
    1. Faith issues blurred

    (Many of you can see the continued ambiguities.

    2. RE: Religious freedom doctrine had been reversed.

    3. Loss of Faith in the Social Kingship of Christ.

    4. Continued liturgical deviations and abuses continue, as admitted by both JPII & BXVI.

    A list was given in Abp Lefebvre's books:
    b. They Have Uncrowned Him,
    c. A Bishop Speaks
    (just reprinted)
    Until errors are de facto suppressed by the respective Roman Congregations, we cannot presume "the state of necessity no longer exists." Remember Archbishop Lefebvre's breaking point, when he was in negotiations with Cardinal Ratzinger: By speaking with Card. Ratzinger he came to discover and say:
    "They have lost the faith." Until then, for several years he kept on waiting and praying and postponed the consecrations for years: "I would rather die than challenge the Pope." We can read Davies' Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, and the biography, by Bishop Tissiers: MARCEL LEFEBVRE. Few care to examine this side of the events.
    I found outside admissions by Card. Ratzinger in the Witness to Hope. There I was shocked by the admission, a clear sign I saw printed in Witness to Hope; six pages discussed the issue of papal ex cathedra condemnation of the "ordination of women." Card.Ratzinger admitted, read his words in this biogtaphy of JPII:
    "WE FEARED A 'TERRA MOTO' , an "earth quake" from the dissenters, therefore the Holy Father did not want to issue an ex cathedra definition as infallible, while all the signs and requirements for it was used. NO. While everyone but the far libarals belived and saw the sings for the Holy Father "finally using his authority!!! Every faithful Catholic sighed in relief. Not so! Admitted Card. Ratzinger, "The Holy Father did not intend to issue an infallible definition, becaused we feared an earthquake reaction." PETER DID NOT USE THE AUTHORITY HE WAS GIVEN HIM TO USE to guide the flock in a sure path. ALL EWTN VIEWERSHIP, and their still-posted-view is accessible that the larger half of the CHurch wished and was allowed to believe that the infallible teaching finally was in place. When pressed and asked, Card. Ratzinger backed down and admitted no infallible definition was intended.
    HOW ABOUT "DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE?" Where is the fear of God?
    IS this not loss of faith? Where is the fear of the Lord?

    Until it returns there remains a juridical state of necessity.

    I am not a SSPX member, but Bishop Fellay continues the fidelity to Christ and fidelity to Archbishop Lefebvre in resisting full union with those who fear more public opinion than the Lord. Strong words, but true.
    Time for penance is running out, dont we all feel the punishment in our bones and hearts and in the defection of the faith by the
    65% of the clergy who refuse the faith in the Eucharist and 80% of Catholics?
    Is this not a state of emergency and necessity? Wake up people. America has no leader in site. The Church is in necessity, the people are left to themselves with the wolves ravaging them. Millions at the communion rail and the confessional are used in many places as utility closets. Is this not a state of necessity? Saints are declared left and right with dubious procedures raising
    them. "We have no signs, no
    prophets, we dont know how long will this last!" Is this not a state of necessity?


    Nice post. Indeed, the situation was much more dire before John Paul II, who seemed genuinely interested in reconciling traditionalists (although was too "liberal," and modernist in outlook to really make headway.) JPII was a man of prayer, not a man, in my opinion of historical view and outreach. A saintly soul, but not a pragmatic one. He let the Church flap-in-the-wind, while the modernists took over. But he WAS a very, very good man.

    Now, the Church is literally stuck in the mire of quicksand, or released from modernism: it is either sinking, sunk, or thriving. The Church is thriving in traditional orders. It is sinking or sunk is Novus Ordo modernist orders. It would be best to regularize SSPX YESTERDAY for the sake of the Church and the sake of Souls.

  44. Anonymous4:40 AM

    A ship at sea during a violent storm is a "CRISIS" and if the sailors were somehow unable to take orders from the captain it could give rise to a "state of NECESSITY" -- so long as there remained no practical way to follow his direct orders.

    But what happens when the sailors appeal to the violent storm (CRISIS) as justification for refusing practical submission to the authority of the captain? This is no longer a question of "NECESSITY"...but in reality it is the crime of "MUTINY".

    So let's not fall into the trap of using CRISIS to justify MUTINY -- while pretending that it is NECESSITY.

  45. Anonymous5:14 AM

    So let's not fall into the trap of using CRISIS to justify MUTINY -- while pretending that it is NECESSITY.

    Ok, thank you teacher. I'll try not to now.

  46. Transalpine Redemptorists on Papa Stronsay are very saintly religious, the Catholic newspaper they edit is a good spiritual read always and Purgatorian Confraternity they offer to Catholics is certainly of good help to both living the the souls in Purgatory. I hope they will succeed in their talks and contact with Rome. No doubt they do right things. Thanks God for this.

  47. Anonymous7:44 AM

    I wish to propose the question what are the disadvantages of the SSPX and others regularizing their situation if they are permitted to hold onto their views on the Council, etc. As I understand it they accept its validity, as with the New Mass, even if they disagree with some outcomes and expressions. I can only see advantages to the fight for the faith by being fully within; as it is they seem to be a church of their own, out of communion with Rome and its bishop. Surely all they need is guarantees they can continue their apostolate and express and promote their views just as others are doing?

  48. Anonymous9:21 AM

    "Ordinary jurisdiction": another explanation.

    This evening, another explanation occurred to me as to the meaning of the T.A.R.'s reference to an offer of "ordinary jurisdiction". It could be that Rome has offered it an abbacy--no, a priory--nullius!

    There are still about ten abbacies nullius in the Church, most of them in Italy (but 2 in Switzerland, 1 in Austria, and 1 in Hungary). They have very small territories which the abbot nullius (now called a 'territorial abbot' in the New Code of Canons) governs them entirely. They are exempt from episcopal control and the abbot nullius has all the jurisdiction of a local bishop in them.

    Now, there were also once priories nullius. The last one was abolished in the 1960s in Spain. They are not mentioned in the New Code but could be revived in ecclesiastical law. The 1983 Code also does not mention military ordinariates, and yet they were added in 1986.

    Notice how the motherhouse of the Transalpine Redemptorists, where about 25 of its monks live, embraces an entire island in the Orkney Islands. The T.A.R. have the small island of Papa Stronsay to themselves. They own it, I believe (if not, then much of it). It could be detached from the local Scottish diocese (Dundee? I haven't checked) and made a priory nullius for the Trans Alpine Redemptorists. This motherhouse would then be exempt from diocesan control and directly subject to the Holy See, but its other monasteries could only be erected with the permission of local bishops (unless the priory included several discontinuous tiny territories, which is a possibility).

    I believe that they have one new monastery in the Diocese of Christchurch, in New Zealand. They also have a house in Kent, England, which must be under the Diocese of Brentwood. They used to have a presence in the Ukraine, but I believe they have left there.

    Now there's a possibility which would explain this term used by their prior: ordinary jurisdiction. Territorial abbacies and 'territorial prelatures', (vide Canon 370) are ordinary jurisdictions or particular churches UNLIKE the personal prelature structure. I don't think that a territorial prelature would fit the bill, since it's a mission territory.

    But if there can be a territorial abbacy headed by an abbot, the Pope could modify the law slightly to add a territorial priory, headed by a prior. A careful reading of Canon 370 shows that the territory need not be continuous: it could be several territories governed together: "A territorial prelature or abbacy is a certain portion of God's people, territorially defined [but not necessarily continuous!], the care of which is, for special reasons, entrusted to a Prelate or an Abbot, who governs it, in the manner of a diocesan bishop, as its proper pastor (Canon 370). It is equivalent in law to a diocese (vide Canon 368).

    Yes, I think I've cracked this. Rome is about to give them a territorial abbacy or priory. By Jove, I've got it! That's what they're after. Well done, chaps! It does make good sense if that is it!

    My comments about a larger ordinary structure for all of us stand: let's pray that the Transalpine Redemptorists ask for this (but let's not hold our breath).


  49. No crisis in the Church, eh? Read this link:

    Vatican Greets Buddhists

    This is the kind of garbage we are constantly subjecting ourselves to in the Novus Ordo religion.

    Bishop Fellay is right on!

  50. It is very sad that we have been forced to reinstate moderation of comments for the third time in two weeks. Unfortunately, an unwelcome guest keeps posting the same hateful comments, and, despite the delightful debate that was going on here (thank you, Mr Perkins and others), since we cannot block a specific commentator, we have to moderate all comments.

    This implies that it may take some hours - or even a few days, if the moderator is away - for comments to be viewed.

  51. Anonymous1:29 PM

    An "ordinary jurisdiction"

    For those of you unfamiliar with canon law regarding Religious Communities, I believe this phase in reference to them, means not a territorial jurisdiction, but the ordinary jurisdiction which a Super General has over all the religious in his order, thus that he can grant letters dismissorial, appoint confessors, decide regarding questions of liturgy, governance, according to the norms of the institute, and it in now way refers to a jurisidction over laymen or those who are not subject to the institute by professing vows in it.

    Thus they seem to be subject of a offer to be established as a religious institue of pontifical right...

    only that.

    Sorry to dissappoint!

    There are many such institutes of pontifical right, and they are amongst the worst promoters of the VII silliness...

    If they were to refuse such silliness, they wouldn't be able to find bishops to ordain their seminarians....

    That's how such religious orders were coerced in the first place.

    Br. Alexis Bugnolo

  52. Anonymous4:03 PM

    There are also several Transalpine Redemptorists in France. All told, there are probably close to 35 members (most in Scotland, about 5 in New Zealand, and the same number in France).

    There is also a growing Order of traditional Capuchins in France. And the Dominicans of Avrille have well over 35 members in a large monastery in France, and also another in Australia.

    Then we have traditionalist Cistercian monks, and a house of traditionalist Carthusians (about 18 monks), and 2 of Benedictine monasteries of monks in France still linked to the SSPX.

  53. Anonymous4:20 PM

    Would Dan,PKTP,and others who do sign their comments while not being Google/Blogger or OpenID members please use the "Name/URL" option (and fill in names) rather than "Anonymous"? would make things a little clearer.

  54. Anonymous4:28 PM

    The Vatican greeting Buddhists on their holiday, and the Hindus too for their pagan feast days is disgusting, and a complete betrayal of the Catholic Faith and the mission the Church stood for for 1,500 years.

    Missionaries before Vatican II did not congratulate Buddhists and Hindus for their paganism, but rather tried to wind souls for Christ and his One True Church-the Roman Catholic Church.

  55. Anonymous6:53 PM

    Dear Br. Bugnolo:

    It has been a long time! Thank you for your response. Yes, it is possible that they don't mean a 'particular church' by "ordinary jurisdiction". However, we must consider the case in its context. They are saying that, for them, the state of necessity has ended because of "Summorum Pontificum" and because they are now offered ordinary jurisdiction. Well, they could have had what the F.S.S.P. has (or approved religious orders, such as the Benedictines of Le Barroux) under the provisions of 1988. In this regard, S.P. only reiterates in Article 3 what was already available to them since 1988. So how could they claim that a state of necessity has ended when nothing has changed for them?

    As a result, I don't think that they mean what you guess here. But I also don't think that Rome is offering an international diocese for only 35 monks. Not a chance.

    The most likely explanation is that they are being offered an abbacy nullius for their tiny island motherhouse of Papa Stronsaym (1/3 mile area). While post-conciliar legislation favoured a suppression of these, there are still ten or twelve existing, mostly in Italy. They are mentioned in Canon 370 as a structure equivalent in law to a diocese.

    One reason this is plausible is that detaching Papa Stronsay from the Diocese of Aberdeen would really not reduce the authority of the Bishop of Aberdeen. Nobody can stroll into Papa Stronsay to avoid the New Mass. You have to get there by private boat in winds of up to 100 m.p.h.

    It is possible but less likely that such an offer would be extended to their new monastery in New Zealand. Under Canon 370, a territorial abbacy (as it is now called in the 1983 Code) must be "territorially defined" but it needn't be territorially continuous. So it is possible. The Bishop of Christchurch (N.Z.) might have been consulted and agreed, or the structure simply might not extend beyond Papa Stronsay.

    I think that the T.A.R. also have a house in Kent, England, and a presence in France and, at one time, in the Ukraine.

    I really appreciate seeing you post on this blog, Brother. You have taught me a great deal about the Church. I really do love you and your service to the Church.

    As for my speculations about the T.A.R., well, we shall soon see what's up, I guess.

    Peter Karl T. Perkins

  56. Anonymous7:00 PM

    Dear Mr. McCollister:

    You asked for proof that what was offered to the S.S.P.X in 2000 was an apostolic administration. Here it is:

    One gent on the other blog found a reference in which Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos offered them not a personal apostolic administration but a society of apostolic life. But the two are compatible and would need to work together. The S.S.P.X was a society of apostolic life from 1970 to 1976 and would be so again in law. But it is affiliated with a number of traditionalist religious orders. The 'personal' apostolic administration would have embraced all of these plus the S.S.P.X. Presumably, the superior-general of the S.S.P.X would be the apostolic administrator and the other Society bishops would be auxiliary bishops in the p.a.a. Here is the relevant passage and words of Bsp. Fellay:

    “We would never have imagined that Rome could offer us such a proposition. You have no doubt heard talk of this idea of an apostolic administration. The Society of St. Pius X would have become incorporated into an apostolic administration. What does this signify? The apostolic administration ordinarily is a diocesan structure, or quasi diocesan, in a time of crisis, over a given territory. Well! For us this territory would be the entire world. In other words, they offered us a structure that covered the entire world, a kind of personal diocese…

    Excuse me for interrupting, Your Excellency, you mean a personal prelacy…

    Not at all. The apostolic administration is better than a personal prelacy. In the first place, a personal prelacy is not necessarily governed by a bishop. An apostolic administration, which is quasi diocesan, normally would be. Furthermore, and above all, the action of an apostolic administration is not limited to its members. The Opus Dei, which is the personal prelacy that exists today, is not subject to the local bishop in all that concerns its members, but it could not consider any external action without the consent of the bishop. With the apostolic administration, we avoid this restriction. We would be able to take an autonomous apostolic action without having to ask authorisation from the diocesan bishop, since we would have a veritable diocese, whose distinctive characteristic is that it extends to the entire world. It is very important that such a proposition has been made, because after all, this juridical solution has never happened before, it is “sui generis”. Now that it has been established, it can represent for us, from a juridical point of view, a reference, a position of comparison. Especially since it is to the Society of St. Pius X that this possibility has been proposed, which shows just how seriously Rome sees our resistance. It’s not by vainglory that I say that, believe me: symbolically (first of all, it’s not a question of numbers) we represent something very important for Rome, and this also is new.

    Your Excellency, if this proposition is so extraordinary, and it certainly seems to be – we would like to ask you – why is it that you didn’t immediately accept this practical agreement, which was offered to you on a platter?

    You are right, it is an exatraordinary proposition, and if Rome wanted a true reform, it is the way we have just described that would have to be taken. But a true will for reform is necessary. For the moment, it is difficult to know exactly where the signing of such an agreement would have led us.”

    Now, ladies and gentlemen, from this I have argued since 2000 that the state of necessity is over for the S.S.P.X. I am hoping that “Michael” will tell me that I have imagined all the scores of hours arguing that too.

    What I am arguing for now is different only in title: an exempt international and personal archdiocese. It is a bit more exalted that an apostolic administration, which is a provisional or temporary diocese, that’s all.


  57. The web page mentioned by Mr Perkins is available here (click).

  58. Anonymous8:19 PM

    To some of the S.S.P.X supporters posting here:

    First, I am not a S.S.P.X basher. But the question is whether or not the S.S.P.X is able to fulfil its mission as a regularised structure. If not, then a state of emergency continues and this supplies jurisdiction.

    But, since 2000, Rome has offered the S.S.P.X its own de facto international diocese. It would be completely exempt from the local bishops and have, for its subjects, those laics who register in it.

    Now, normally, one must work under the authority of the Successor of Peter. If one may save souls and build up the Church under Peter, one must do so. To think otherwise is Protestant.

    Now, some on this blog say that doctinal disputes from the non-infallible Second Vatican Council must be solved first. But it is possible for the S.S.P.X to accept a personal apostolic administration or diocese on a provisional basis pending resolution of doctrinal issues. Obviously, if Rome will grant a permanent p.a.a., it will grant a provisional one: but Bishop Fellay has not even asked for this.

    I note that what Rome has offered the Society since 2000 is considerably more than what Archbishop Lefebvre--who signed all the documents of Vatican II--was prepared to accept in 1988. How can the Society bishops demand more than what their holy founder deemed to be adequate? I can't understand that.

    The S.S.P.X could also do us all a great favour by asking for an international ordinary structure (e.g. archdiocese or diocese or apostolic administration) which we could all benefit from. The Society acted very charitably by asking for a recognition of a right for *all* priests (delivered by S.P.). Now the Society could prove yet again that her clerics have a true sense of charity--real charity and not the fake show which hugging liberals so often display.

    Lastly, I implore Bishop Fellay to accept at least a provisional structure which is exempt, international, ordinary, and 'personal' in order to protect the future of his own S.S.P.X. At the current rate of growth of numbers of Masses under "Summorum Pontificum" (which I have been tracking in great detail, by the way), few faithful will feel that they need the Society. Most will prefer tradition with the Pope's blessing to tradition without it.

    Considerations to ponder. What is best for Holy Church?


  59. Anonymous9:00 PM

    It seems to me that this gentle group of religious are isolated from the outside larger body of the present Catholic world.
    I pray for them, but it seems that they will find much disappointment once they 'free' themselves from their safer and closed enviroment.
    The SSPX position for their own stated reason is clearer, firmer and for these reasons highly respected by Rome. Let our prayers and penances for the Church continue. Maranatha. Come, deliver us O Lord.

  60. Anonymous10:12 PM

    No crisis in the Church, eh?

    I don't think anyone would deny that there is a crisis in the Church right now. The question isn't whether there is a crisis but whether the crisis is now so severe that the SSPX, or another traditional community, should not seek regularization. A state of crisis is not necessarily a state of necessity.

  61. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Previously, on a different blog, you wrote (my emphasis):
    "No, what was suggested (not formally offered) to the S.S.P.X earlier (not in December) of 2000 and then actually granted to the Campos in 2001 was a personal apostolic adminstration."

    Now you write:

    "I note that what Rome has offered the Society since 2000 is considerably more ..."

    Which is is? Was something actually offered to the society which they subsequently rejected, or was there simply a discussion about what could be offered?

  62. Anonymous10:29 PM

    Those comments on the 'isolation' and 'innocence' of the TARs are misconceived, not to say patronising. They are Redemptorists, not Carthusians. Father Michael Mary knows EXACTLY what is going on in the Church and in the world. Read the full text of the letter.

    An Orkney man was once asked by a visitor, 'What's it like, living somewhere so remote?' 'Remote from what?' he replied.

  63. Anonymous10:33 PM

    Sorry for my english (I am not an english speaker).

    Precissions about my thesis: "state of necessity" of Mons. Lefebvre = lack of a Bishop in order to pursue Tradition:

    Br. Anthony asked: No crisis on the Church? as saying effectively we are in a crisis.

    Nobody denies there is a crisis, but state of necessity of Mons. Lefebvre is a consequence of this crisis: the need of a Traditional Bishop.

    PKTP said that for him state of necessity ceased in 2000 because of the ordinary jurisdiction granted to SSPX.

    This is partially exact: is not because of ordinary jurisdiction per se (Mons Lefebvre didn' t need her before the consecrations) and yes because of the lifting of the excommunications to the four Bishops.

    In addtition: state of necessity ceased in fact (not yet by law) because it consisted only in an "offer" made in the course of negotiations and not in a resolution of any roman dicastery.

    Therefore, state of necessity cease by law:
    A) when Rome lift the excommunications;
    B) when Rome appoints one or more Bishops at the head of a traditional canonical structure, with faculties to ordain priests internationally.

    However, state of necessity ceased in fact, and that is why SSPX is obliged to reach the agreement.

  64. Anonymous11:47 PM

    Indeed a "proposition" in the course of discussion is a negotiation, not a contract offer. His Excellency Fellay did not turn down a contract offer that was actually on the table, but continued in discussing the "proposition."

    From PTKP's evidence, Interviewer:
    "Your Excellency, if this proposition is so extraordinary, and it certainly seems to be – we would like to ask you – why is it that you didn’t immediately accept this practical agreement, which was offered to you on a platter?"

    His Excellency Fellay: "You are right, it is an extraordinary proposition, and if Rome wanted a true reform, it is the way we have just described that would have to be taken. But a true will for reform is necessary. For the moment, it is difficult to know exactly where the signing of such an agreement would have led us. One thing is certain: the known exterior elements were not favourable to an agreement that was made rapidly, without precaution. These elements are known: first of all, it is the manner in which Rome has proceeded with the Fraternity of St. Peter, in imposing upon them the principle of the New Mass, contrary to its constitutions, contrary to what they themselves had conceded to this religious society ten years ago. Besides, a certain number of priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter have come to see us, saying: do not accept this solution, do not sign anything, it would be your ruin… Furthermore, we have seen very quickly the reaction of a number of bishops and cardinals: furious, they were furious, to the point that some of them (I speak of the French bishops) have threatened disobedience. This is not a mere nothing: France, through the intervention of the cardinals, has made an open threat to Rome to enter into disobedience… What would have been the reaction of Rome? There would have been a tremendous combat and we would not have been able to stand unless Rome openly supported us. It was with this in mind that we proposed two preliminaries, which we understood to be as two indispensable signs of the support of Rome. It was not a question, properly speaking, as has been written here and there, of preconditions: a Catholic cannot submit Rome to conditions! No, it was simply a question of obtaining, in the battle that would not fail to ensue, a clear sign of Rome’s adherence to Tradition.

    "We thus did require these two signs, first the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication and, secondly, the permission for all the priests of the Latin rite, without distinction, to celebrate the traditional Mass. I believe these two steps would have been able to create a truly new climate in the universal Church."

  65. Dear Brother Anthony,

    I empathise with you and understand your position. The moves by the Transapline Redemptorists need to be well calculated in such confusing times.

    It is more than evident the number of catholics who have not yet understood that the neo-modern post-conciliar church has in large measure made a significant paradigm shift away from the traditional Roman Catholic Faith. This pope was one of the architects of the "razing of bastions" and of the "U" turns toward religious liberty, phenomenological ecumenism and the horizontalising collegial nature of contemporary church governance. The consequence is a church split into quasi-cults each with their own liturgical "form" - Neo-Cats, charismatics, NO, Focolare and the myriad small lay communities which interpret the liturgy as they feel fit.

    Only SSPX and other similar truly traditional organisations have resisted this obvious state of liturgical anarchy, in which a Catholic has no idea what is going to confront him when he enters a church supposedly "catholic", particularly one with which he is not familiar. Will it be balloons, clowns, women on the worship space, numberless lay people handing out hosts, rock music, a protestant assistant, a stealth priestess, communion to sodomites, presbyters inappropriately dressed and so on ad infinitum?

    Further, this neo-modern church encourages by its silence verging on complicity a multivariety of norms that violate Roman Catholic principles - for example, Holy Communion to protestants, abortionists, sodomites and all the other abuses, some above-mentioned.

    Therefore, to imagine that by "being in perfect communion" with Rome is a valid sign of being in communion with The Roman Catholic Faith, aware of the current parlous state of affairs, smacks not only of overgenerous quantities of wishful thinking but, in some cases, invincible ignorance.

    The ultimate litmus test is the liturgy. The neomodernist version will continue apace with many changes to come - be aware of this. Bishops conferences will resist anything they do not want because they know they can get away with it. The Vatican will timidly back off in the face of stiff opposition - we have witnessed this many times before. In the meantime, unless one accepts this position then one is not entitled, by definition of the SP of this neomodernist regime, to celebrate The Latin Mass of All Time. The one "form" is attached to the other by this document.

    The two "forms" are diametrical opposites in principle and practice so much so that they are in reality two distinct rites. However, post-conciliar philosophy & philology has embraced the phenomenological explanation to reality as well - it has become a mere subjectivised sub-conscious phenomenon that empties all meaning from language in order to permit the freedom to relativise and pluralise it.

    Support the NO rite in this manner and you tacitly support everything that goes with it. It is fabricated, not an organic liturgical development, it has protestant roots, it was designed to please them, it contains multiple dangers for The Faith, it has been largely responsible for the catastrophic loss of faith in the post-conciliar era, it has propagated an immense number of illicit liturgical permutations, it has also encouraged with the other conciliar paradigm shifts the emptying out of churches, seminaries, monasteries and convents. After 40 years of the same movement the objective evidence is in place to demonstrate that it is, therefore, not Roman Catholic.

    May the Transalpine Redemptorists be watchful that they are not about to undo the immense good they have done already. Almighty God and The Blessed Virgin Mary be with them as they approach the minefield of "dialogue" with Rome.

  66. Anonymous12:37 AM

    DCS: "A state of crisis is not necessarily a state of necessity."

    Exactly! We are not justified in ignoring the orders of the captain at sea just because there happens to be a crisis caused by a violent storm.

  67. Anonymous12:38 AM

    DCS: "A state of crisis is not necessarily a state of necessity."

    Exactly! We are not justified in ignoring the orders of the captain at sea just because there happens to be a crisis caused by a violent storm.

  68. Anonymous12:41 AM

    On Michael's comments:

    First of all, please go to Fr. Zuhlsdorf's site on this question, where I have now quoted substantial proofs of the offer.

    To clarify: There was an offer but this was never formalised because the S.S.P.X declined further discussions on it. We can call it an offer in the sense of Moral Law because Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos was suggesting this as a solution. But it was not a formal offer because the details had not been worked out.

    It was to be exempt, international, personal, and ordinary--a particular church. The 'personal' apostolic administration structure was considered but not resolved on.

    Bishop Fellay calls it an offer in many places, such as this: "They offered us an Apostolic Administration, a universal diocese". This is an exact quotation from 23rd January, 2002.

    In searching this matter, I discovered something which really makes me happy. It seems that Julian Cardinal Herranz favoured not only this structure for the S.S.P.X but FOR ALL OF US, which is what I have been advocating now for over ten years. Who is this Cardinal? He is the former President of the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, arguably the top canonist in the entire Church. I must say, that makes me feel a bit more confident!


  69. Anonymous3:49 AM

    In an interview with His Excellency, Bishop Rifan by John Grasmeier April, 2006:

    AQ: Your relationship with the SSPX was quite friendly before the Campos reconciliation, not long after it became less friendly. How would you describe your relationship with the Society currently, in particular with Bishop Fellay?

    Bishop Rifan: We were together during the conversations with the Holy See in order to regularize our canonic situation; We were even invited by them and were very grateful to them for this. When the Holy See offered them and us an Apostolic Administration they refused, and we in good conscience couldn’t refuse this offer, or more to the point this explicit will of the Holy Father. After that, they began to attack us. They removed our Masses from the list of the Traditional Mass in the world. I sent an invitation to my Episcopal consecration to the four bishops of the SSPX and they refused. I offered many times myself in order to help them in order to get a canonical regularization, and they refused. This month, during my visit in France, a friend invited one of their Bishops to speak with me and he refused, saying that it was not necessary. So, I continue to pray for them.

  70. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Even a world wide diocese does not mean de facto that a state of necessity or crisis has ended, because such a diocese would have an ordinary appointed by the Pope and the Pope remands nearly all apointments to the counsel of the Congregation of Bishops, which has favored homosexual and pedofile protecting men, modernists and liturgical wreckers for the last 40 years.

    Such an international diocese would be no more protected than an abbot nullius or any other structure under the Roman Pontiff, unless he guaranteed the SSPX the right to elect their own Bishops, without any interference from the Curia or the Pope.

    Barring that, the only end of the crisis and the state of necessity is when the Roman Pontiff using the full force of his authority and magisterium rejects explicitly and definitively the obligation of all catholics to hold the documents of Vatican II as infallible teaching instruments.

    Then, he would have to direct all ordinaries and dicasteries and orders and dioceses to abandon VII as the rule for Church organization, and liturgical praxis, by establishing either sound norms or returning simply to the former order of things.

    Then such an arrangement by the TAR or the SSPX would be sanely entered into, under this second possibility.

    If we imagine that the Health of the Church or any part thereof is independent upon doctrinal rectitude, consistency and purity, then we are pretending a form of religion that is heretical in its very essence.

    Br. Alexis Bugnolo

  71. Anonymous3:33 PM

    Mr. Perkins,

    The evidence you proffered shows that the alleged offer to the SSPX was unacceptable.

    From the website you offered, His Excellency Fellay explains —

    INTERVIEWER: Your Excellency, if this proposition is so extraordinary, and it certainly seems to be – we would like to ask you – why is it that you didn’t immediately accept this practical agreement, which was offered to you on a platter?

    H.E. FELLAY: You are right, it is an extraordinary proposition, and if Rome wanted a true reform, it is the way we have just described that would have to be taken. But a true will for reform is necessary. For the moment, it is difficult to know exactly where the signing of such an agreement would have led us. One thing is certain: the known exterior elements were not favourable to an agreement that was made rapidly, without precaution. These elements are known: first of all, it is the manner in which Rome has proceeded with the Fraternity of St. Peter, in imposing upon them the principle of the New Mass, contrary to its constitutions, contrary to what they themselves had conceded to this religious society ten years ago. Besides, a certain number of priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter have come to see us, saying: do not accept this solution, do not sign anything, it would be your ruin… Furthermore, we have seen very quickly the reaction of a number of bishops and cardinals: furious, they were furious, to the point that some of them (I speak of the French bishops) have threatened disobedience. This is not a mere nothing: France, through the intervention of the cardinals, has made an open threat to Rome to enter into disobedience… What would have been the reaction of Rome? There would have been a tremendous combat and we would not have been able to stand unless Rome openly supported us. It was with this in mind that we proposed two preliminaries, which we understood to be as two indispensable signs of the support of Rome. It was not a question, properly speaking, as has been written here and there, of preconditions: a Catholic cannot submit Rome to conditions! No, it was simply a question of obtaining, in the battle that would not fail to ensue, a clear sign of Rome’s adherence to Tradition.

    We thus did require these two signs, first the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication and, secondly, the permission for all the priests of the Latin rite, without distinction, to celebrate the traditional Mass. I believe these two steps would have been able to create a truly new climate in the universal Church.

    INTERVIEWER: And did you ever believe, in spite of the motives that kept you on guard, which you have recalled just now, that these two preliminaries could be accepted?

    H.E. FELLAY: First of all, we were not in a hurry. This is, moreover, the big difference with 1988: in 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre needed to rapidly provide for the future of his work. Today this future is not in question, we are living it; we have shown, for more than 10 years, that it is assured. We would therefore like to study, to take the time to study the proposals that have been made to us. For a moment, it is true, we had believed in a true change from the part of Rome. It need be said that a difference in the language was perceptible in all of our interviews right from the start. The 13th of March, for example, they told us: “The Pope holds to this solution (the juridical solution that we have just spoken of), there is nothing to fear. The Church has need of you and asks you to assist in its combat against liberalism, modernism, masonry; you must not refuse your help”. Oh! It is an oral expression; we were always asking ourselves whether the words signified the same thing for the Vatican as they did for us. I don’t think they did.

  72. Anonymous5:13 PM

    This is wonderful news about the TAR. It is time to reconcile, piece by piece reconciliations are taking place from the SSPX. If Msgr. Lefebvre were alive today I believe he would reconcile. The Church is in a state of trouble, and much work needs to be done to repair her. The SSPX I think is looking for reasons not to reconcile. I have great respect for the SSPX, and they have carried the torch against the odds for far too long, and now I believe is the famed "more propitious" era Msgr. Lefebvre referred to.

  73. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Can someone tell me a bit about the TAR? Do they have parishes? chapels? Where do they serve?

    Rome is offering bishops and prelatures, that is all Lefebvre wanted, and yet the SSPX rejects it. I admire their conviction on the valid concerns regarding collegiality, religious liberty, and ecumenism, but in the grand scheme of things in the Church it can appear as nitpicking.

    Can anyone tell me if the SSPX really wants reconciliation? I pray a rosary everyday for reconciliation between the SSPX and the Holy See.

    Anyone read the history of the Old Believer schism in the Russian Orthodox Church? The contientious issues that so captivated the 17th century religious battle seem almost quaint by today's standards.

  74. Anonymous5:25 PM

    While this news is indeed heart-warming I would hope that TAR would request the lifting of the excommunication against Msgr. Lefebvre, he has been a man much wronged for simply loving the faith of his Fathers.

    Does the TAR have any houses/missions in North America?

  75. Anonymous8:16 PM

    James: The Transalpine Redemptorists are a religious order with two communities, one in Orkney (Scotland) and the other in New Zealand. I only know the Orkney situation. As far as I know, their only regular external apostolate is a Mass centre in the village of Whitehall on the island of Stronsay, a short boat ride away from the island they own (Papa Stronsay). There is daily Mass. Their website, and especially their blog, give quite a lot of information about their daily life, vocations, &c. They have American members, I believe, but no American mission.

    It's also worth tracking down, on youtube, an episode of the BBC travel series 'Atlantic Britain', in which the presenter Adam Nicolson spends some time with the community.

  76. 'If Msgr. Lefebvre were alive today I believe he would reconcile. "

    There is a piece of idle & scarcely informed speculation if ever I saw it. How can anyone act as posthumous spokesperson for the Archbishop (RIP)?

    Any agreement will require all the details to be well worked out with no sting in the tail such as accepting the post-conciliar paradigm shift. This is unacceptable according to orthodox Catholic criteria. Indeed it was an ecumenical council but its emphasis was absolutely modernistic and therefore, disorientated. SSPX will not accept this. Neither would the Archbishop.

  77. Anonymous10:01 PM


    If you'll notice my post said "I believe," but to respond to your absolutist statement, if you will look at what Lefebvre asked of Rome leading up to Econe 1988 it was for the assurance of orthodox bishops, the tridentine mass, and "the equivalent of a military ordinariat" (to use Msgr. Lefebvre's term). It seems Rome is offering much more than the good late Archbishop sought. Doctrinal issues within the Church cannot be reformulated by an entity in canonical irregularity (to use Ecclesia Dei's term).

  78. Anonymous9:45 PM

    It seems to me that any offer of "regularization" or "reconciliation" is meaningless unless the excommunication is lifted. Can Rome truly offer ordinary jurisdiction to a Bishop who is excommunicated?

    If not, can the much discussed "offer" (circa 2000)really be thought to have been made in good faith? And is the rejection of such an "offer" an act of disobedience and pride as some assert or simply a recognition that the party making the offer is unable to fulfill the obligation?

  79. Anonymous1:26 AM

    State of necessity is the infringement of a juridical value in order to safeguard another one because of a serious and imminent evil. The infringement of the law must have the possiblity to save the last juridical value.

    In the case of the consecrations without the mandate of the Pope, the infringement was of the can. 1382 (that not necessarily imply the intention to not to be submitted to the Roman Pontiff -schism- can 751).

    The legal justifications that can be alleged are the serious fear (to abandon the traditional faithful), state of necessity (lack of a Bishop in order to puruse Tradition)or to avoid a serious disservice (the extinction of Tradition)-can.1324.5. In adition we have can 1323. 7 and can. 1323. 4 or 5 that made the sanction -excomunication latae sententiae- invalid.

    If the state of necessity would have be the "crisis on the Church" or "doctrinal problems", then the illicit was not able to put an end on them. Also there were not an "imminent" evil in 1988.

    The crisis on the Church or doctrinal problems were at the origin of the need for traditional priests (in 1976, remember the suspension a divinis) and for traditional Bishops (in 1988, remember the excommunications). But they are not one and the same "necessity".

    Mons. Lefebvre intention in consecrating the four Bishops was to save Tradition -"let us do the experiment of Tradition"- and, this way, in a second step, to help to save the Church.

    In consequence, to wait for the resolution of the crisis on the Church or doctrinal problems as a condition to make an agreement is to be out of the necessity of 1988.

    The state of necessity ceases, for SSPX:

    1. when Rome lift the excommunications and the four Bishops recover plain jurisdiction.

    2. when Rome apply one or more Bishops at the head of a traditional catholic structure with faculties to ordain traditional priests.

    The state of necessity ceases, for other groups not dependant on SSPX:

    1. when Rome offers plain jurisdiction.


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