Rorate Caeli

For the record: Rumors of a new Motu Proprio...

Many of our readers might have probably already read the most recent newsletter of Bishop Richard Williamson - one of the four Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X in 1988 -, filled with rumors and innuendoes, but we post it in its entirety for the future record of current affairs.


While the Rome-Society of St Pius X discussions are, by accounts from both sides, running into a doctrinal brick wall, reports from France and Germany together with a rumour from Rome spell danger for Catholics. That danger is a political deal which would simply go round the side of the doctrinal blockage. Politics threaten to circumvent doctrine.

From France and Germany, I was told me a few weeks ago that a large proportion of Catholics attending SSPX Mass centres are only hoping and waiting for some agreement to come out of the discussions. If - repeat, if -- this is true, it is very serious. Such Catholics may get full marks for wishing not to be cut off from what appears to be Rome, but they get low marks for not grasping that as long as the discussions remain doctrinal, there is no way in which the neo-modernist teaching of Vatican II can be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of the true Church. Such Catholics may venerate and love Archbishop Lefebvre as they see him, but they have not understood what he was all about. They had best wake up if they are not in one way or another to fall into the arms of the neo-modernist Romans.

Agreement in front of doctrine means politics before religion, unity before truth, man before God. God before man means truth before unity, religion before politics and doctrine being more important than any non-doctrinal agreement. Only dreamers could not foresee the Rome-SSPX discussions running into a doctrinal brick wall. Only politicians can wish for any non-doctrinal agreement to come out of them.

Alas, to all appearances Benedict XVI sincerely believes in the Newchurch of Vatican II which is to unite in its bosom all men absolutely, regardless of whether they believe or not in the one true doctrine of the Faith. Therefore he sincerely wishes to gather in the SSPX as well - and he does not normally have too much longer to live ! So the blockage of doctrinal discussions should not unduly worry him. He must be looking to cut a political deal with the SSPX, in order to unite it with the rest of the Newchurch. It follows that he must ask of the SSPX neither too much, or it would refuse the deal, nor too little, because then the rest of the Newchurch would rise up in protest.

The rumour from Rome is precisely that he is thinking of a "Motu Proprio" which would accept the SSPX "back into the Church" once and for all, yet require from the SSPX no explicit acceptance of Vatican II or the New Mass, but only, for instance, the acceptance of John-Paul II's 1992 "Catechism of the Catholic Church", which is substantially modernist but in a quiet way. Thus the SSPX would not appear to its followers to be accepting the Council or the New Mass, yet it would be softly, softly, beginning to go along with the substance of neo-modernism.

Thus all seekers of unity would be content. Only not believers in Catholic doctrine.


Kyrie eleison.


  1. Anonymous3:41 PM

    Sound like possible good news couched in a dire sounding fashion.

    By the way, what is "modernist, but in a quiet fashion" in the CCC mean?
    I do think that it[the CCC] can be to wordy at times and it might leave incomplete several of the teachings of the Church ie: its incomplete listing of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, and the six Precpts of the Church, but I see nothing modernist in it.

    Nonetheless the FSSPX needs to be completely and canonically regularised with the only bride of Christ on earth whether she appears to be flawed or not.

    Cruise the Groove.

  2. Marcel3:49 PM

    This reads like a lot of self-righteousness, with little to no charity.

    Let us hope the SSPX will return to the true Rome soon.

  3. Anonymous4:13 PM

    lol, what a piece of garbage, but it must be true!

  4. Bishop Williamson might need to re-read Pascendi and the Syllabus if he is under the impression that the Church's Catechism is "modernist, but in a quiet fashion." If the definition of Modernism is expansive enough to encompass the Catechism, then it's expansive enough to encompass the SSPX's writings too -- so expansive as to make "Modernism" essentially a meaningless word.

  5. Gideon Ertner5:03 PM

    Thus saith Pope Richard I.

  6. Predictable. Bishop Williamson has for a while now been setting up a conflict between himself (along with his loyal followers) and the rest of the SSPX under the leadership of Bishop Fellay.

    It's definitely informative, though, that Bishop Williamson perceives some sort of significant action in the near future.

  7. Why require acceptance of the new catechism, a book of over 600 pages (English ed)? Surely, this creates confusion rather than clarity that the doctrinal discussions were meant to produce. A rather nebulous test of assent, that is meant to prove acceptance to the Vatican II thinking, rather than anything particularly definitive.

    Specifically, what did the catechism define that we as Catholics are required to believe, that the eternal magisterium (up to 1960) did not include?

    I'm not against an agreement, but this - if true - sounds to be short-circuiting the Society's approach entirely.

  8. I think the panic and warnings of "danger" are misguided. If the SSPX can accept a universal Catechism of the Church (as all Catholics should) -- then it shows substantial doctrinal alignment between the SSPX and the Holy See. This would seem to pave the way for true unity both in theory AND in practice. I hope the rumors are true since this would be a good development for the whole Church.

  9. Acceptance of the 1992 Catechism IS acceptance of Vatican II.

    No thank you.

  10. "what appears to be Rome..." ???

    From where does Bp. Williamson receive his authority to judge what is or is not "Rome"? To judge the Catechism etc.?

    By questioning the Rome of "today" vis-a-vis the Rome of "yesterday - where is Authority anymore?
    Where is the visible Church???

  11. Anonymous7:44 PM

    In our parish the NO head pastor of the church which is jointly shared with the FSSP, has forbidden new converts to take Catechism with the FSSP alone but insists that they also do the NO version along side. However, if the person comes from the FSSPX then the NO requirement is lifted.
    Absolute craziness.
    By their fruit....
    Bishop Williamson has a point.

  12. It's a good thing, IMO, that Bishop Williamson is not the Superior of the SSPX. To come out with this rumor, and that's all it is as far as I can tell, and summarily announce that discussions have hit a brick wall, is nothing but a veiled attempt to see the talks scuttled in the first place. I prefer to listen to what Bishop Fellay has to say and take Williamson's remarks with a grain of salt.

    IMO the participants in the talks and the bishops on both sides need to think of their particular Judgment before the Lord and think of what they will say if Our Lord questions them on why they let such a good opportunity for Unity and repair of the Mystical Body end up in such dire straits - if, indeed, the talks do fail. Remember that Our Lord's final prayer before His Ascension was for Unity of His disciples - that all may be one. What's He going to say to those who refuse union with His Vicar of Earth?

  13. JMcCoy8:25 PM

    "Only dreamers could not foresee the Rome-SSPX discussions running into a doctrinal brick wall. Only politicians can wish for any non-doctrinal agreement to come out of them." -- H.E. Williamson has no Faith in the One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church! Sadthat his thinking has atrophied into this position.

  14. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Bp Williamson should accept that which Pope Benedict extends. The Novus Orodo will not see it's end until after the time of the minor chastisement, the Great Monarch, and the Holy Pontiff. The future "great council" will do away with the new Mass and all it's guitar strumming glory thank the Lord. No we're not required to believe this prophecy but dozens and dozens of Catholic Saints can't be wrong. I'm I the only one who thinks this is just round the corner?

  15. Prof. Basto9:04 PM

    Williamson = heretic.

    I'm convinced that this man believes the gates of hell have prevailed against the Apostolic See.

    I'm convinced Williamson is a heretic.

  16. Anonymous9:33 PM

    If the SSPX is accepted with full title without having to accept anything of V II, this can only be described as a full vicotry of SSPX and vindication of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    As no catechism is infallible, to "accept" the catechism of JP II would mean, in fact, little more than nothing, it would be purely a face saving exercise for Rome and the liberals; but really, not even that.

    I can't believe Rome would accept a deal with the SSPX on such humiliating condition for... Rome and I can't imagine Pope Benedict giving them right in such a spectacular way. This would be a BIG nail on the coffin of V II and I really don't think this is what Pope Benedict wants.


  17. Johnny Domer9:45 PM

    "Specifically, what did the catechism define that we as Catholics are required to believe, that the eternal magisterium (up to 1960) did not include?"

    I dislike the use of these terms like "eternal magisterium," "eternal Rome," etc. A Magisterium that ends in 1960 is, by definition, not eternal. It's the pro-unification crowd that is trying to harmonize the entirety of the Magisterium's teachings, not Williamson. I'd say they're more closely approaching the idea of an eternal Magisterium.

    "Alas, to all appearances Benedict XVI sincerely believes in the Newchurch of Vatican II which is to unite in its bosom all men absolutely, regardless of whether they believe or not in the one true doctrine of the Faith."

    What a sloppy, ridiculous statement. I wonder if Bishop Williamson ever read Dominus Jesus.

  18. For the longest time it has been predicted that Bishop Williamson would not go along with any agreement made by Bishop Fellay with Rome, so this is not new news. The rumor of the MP is new, of course, and maybe it will come to pass, who knows? If +Williamson splits off from the SSPX over the deal, that would only follow the pattern of other groups in somewhat similar situations. When the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) was in process of reconciling with the Moscow Patriarchate, a similar split of a small group, under some bishop who has since sunk into anonymity, occurred. That did not stop the reconciliation, of course.

  19. Humanly speaking, +Williamson is clever, witty, charismatic, and simply batty in regard to the politics and theology of what's going in Rome.

    I don't have any special sources. I have read the CCC; and it's basically sound, with some rather great additions to Trent, in its scriptural, filial motiffs. I agree it's rather "busy", and could use simplification.

    If B16 offers SSPX that simple a deal, they should run with it. And then work like crazy to extend the range of their influence. Less exciting, rhetorically speaking, than being a back-bencher, but if you really love the Church, bring your gifts to her. And yes, "you need protection", and our Holy Father said.

  20. Anonymous10:23 PM

    I love his writing style. But as for his views, he believes them to be infallible, and sadly so.

  21. Has H.E. Williamson ever read Unam Sanctam, I wonder? To reiterate: "Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff." How is H.E. Williamson subject to the Roman Pontiff? If he acknowledges H.H. Benedict as the true Vicar of Christ, which the SSPX in general do, then why does he not submit to his legitimate authority (as apart from any illegitimate use of authority by the Roman Pontiff, eg. giving the appearance of forbidding the Mass of all ages)? This attitude is schismatic to the core and I don't think that the other bishops in the society are anywhere near the attitude of H.E. Williamson and I don't think he's doing justice to Archbishop Lefebvre.

    My two cents.

  22. Bootach12:23 AM

    I wonder where this man's humility went? After his comments with respect to the Holocaust, he said the following:

    "In the Old Testament, the Prophet Jonah tells the sailors when their ship is in distress: 'Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.' The Society has a religious mission that is suffering because of me."

    The religious mission CONTINUES to suffer because of him. His recent comments show decisively that he is blind to the unity which we should seek in the Church, legitimate unity sought in legitimate ways. Insofar as he is blind to this, and actively works against it, he is guilty of the spirit of schism, if not schism itself.

    Fellay (and others whom Williamson criticizes) sincerely and with all goodwill desires unity with Rome, but wishes the unity to be deep and not superficial. Williamson, it seems, does not desire this unity, and he seems content with the Society's irregular canonical status. I will defend many in the Society (including the Good Archbishop and Bishop Fellay) against the charge of schism, but one cannot defend the indefensible.

  23. John McFarland12:31 AM

    My son is an SSPX seminarian, and until last week had spent the summer in France, mostly in Pais, and then briefly in Bordeaux and then at the SSPX summer apologetics school near St. Malo.

    As regards the SSPX and its faithful, his reaction to Bishop W's letter was openmouthed stupefaction. He says that he has neither experienced nor heard a squeak of the existence of ANY support for a deal. That is certainly my impression as well. Month after month, the Angelus blasts away at the theological foundations of the conciliar Church. A week of two ago, Bishop Williamson himself reported per his confrere Bishop Galarreta that the discussions would be concluded next year, and they would accomplish nothing.

    But then Bishop Williamson believes that William Shakspear of Stratford-upon-Avon is Shakespeare, and in the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. We all have our peculiarities.

  24. Brother Anthony writes the plain truth and writes it in the plainspoken spirit of MT 5:37. I commend that spirit to the temporizing many hereabouts.

  25. Anonymous1:07 AM

    The Abbe de Nantes submitted a book of accusation to the CDF in Rome in 1993; in it he described twelve heresies of which he accused the author of the CEC:

  26. John McFarland1:07 AM


    The SSPX and its faithful disobey the Pope when his orders are to do evil. It is not different in principle from disobeying your father when he orders you to lie or steal.

    Schism is the denial in principle of the authority of the Holy Father or those whose authority derives from him. The "Orthodox" sects deny that the Pope has ANY authority over them.'

    So if you want to mount a case against the SSPX, you need to base it on something besides schism.

  27. I have long suspected that +Williamson is a closet sede vecantist. This little epistle of rumor and innuendo strongly reinforces that suspicion. I especially found this little line interesting.

    Such Catholics may get full marks for wishing not to be cut off from what appears to be Rome...

    In ICXC

    P.S. I thought +Williamson had been ordered to remain silent by his superiors. In any case the man is an ego-maniac and a loose cannon.

  28. Anonymous2:00 AM

    It seems that Bishop Williamson does not want to unite with those in authority who promote formally condemned errors, such as religious liberty. What's interesting is that people completely ignore the fact that John Paul II, and now Benedict XVI, promote these formally condemned errors, and instead focus on Bishop Williamson who wants nothing to do with heretics who embrace and promote what the Church has formally condemned.

    I guess the psychological way of dealing with leaders who openly promote what the Church has condemned, is to attack those who expose them. By so doing, such people can avoid facing the painful world of reality, and instead continue to enjoy their pleasant world of self-delusion.

  29. One wonders when the SSPX will realize that they are the ones who should return to the Church and not the Church to them.

    If this is their attitude, they might as well as return to their little, ponderous, self-righteous schism and rot in the vineyard. The Church has enough problems and carying their dead weight is an unwanted distraction.


  30. John Lamont2:40 AM

    I hope the catechism part is wrong ... it is hard to see the Holy Father, who is an intelligent and well informed man, stating that a catechism can be used as a doctrinal instrument. A catechism is an educational, not a doctrinal, instrument; its purpose is to educate people in well established Catholic teaching. It is not an instrument for teaching doctrine, and has neither the authority nor the manner of composition that is needed to teach doctrine. A proper doctrinal agreement has to consist in a list of clearly defined propositions, with theological notes attached, to which assent is given.

  31. Bishop Williamson believes that William Shakspear of Stratford-upon-Avon is Shakespeare

    He's right about that at least . . . .

  32. Prof. Basto2:54 AM

    So if you want to mount a case against the SSPX, you need to base it on something besides schism.

    I have no case against the SSPX, but the comments by Williamson I just read strike me as heretical.

    It is heresy to believe that the gates of hell have prevailed over the Apostolic See and the belief that they have so prevailed clearly emerges from this article by Williamson.

  33. John McFarland3:26 AM

    John (Ad Orientem),

    I've followed Bishop Williamson and the SSPX for some time, and I don't see a dime's worth of difference between his view of things and that of virtually all of his confreres. He's no more an SV than I am a watermelon.

    I think that he is probably echoing the following famous statement of Archbishop Lefebvre:

    "We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth.

    "We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it."

    To be sure, the Archbishop was more than once tempted to SVism.

    But any man who hasn't been tempted to SVism just doesn't understand the situation.

  34. Anonymous4:19 AM

    It is unfortunate that Bp Williamson sees "unity" and "truth" as separate and sets up a distinction and priority between them. That is perhaps the root of his error and problems and reveals a view that is most definitely not orthodox...

  35. Anon. 15:41, you may want to check out the CCC Compendium promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI. It offers more concise formulas in the familiar Q&A format. It also covers the spiritual works of mercy and the precepts of the Church.

  36. Anon 1:07, interestingly the Abbe de Nantes later wrote that the more concise CCC Compendium had clarified or corrected what he considered to be "heresies" in the CCC. In other words, what he took to be heresy was completey cleared up with the the Compendium.

  37. Anonymous5:48 AM

    Ah, another rumored Motu Proprio!

    Where is the clarification of Summorum Pontificum? Where is the supposed Apostolic Letter regarding the new "Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization"? Where are the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations for the Synods of Bishops in 2008 and the Synod of African Bishops last year? A while ago there were rumors about a document from the CDW that will supposedly encourage the Reform of the Reform. There is also that reported upcoming encyclical about Faith.

    In the meantime, the Pope is writing volume 3 of his supposedly 2-volume book.

  38. Anonymous6:13 AM

    Everything will be fine, I am sure.

  39. Prof. Basto et al.,

    Accusing +Williamson of heresy is simply inflammatory. While it may seem that the influence of his sustained accusations and suspicions undermine respect for the institution of Petrine authority--and it may well, though there is good enough reason to doubt it--the reality is that the current situation lends itself to these suspicions. We should more fear that Rome is allowed to pass off the novelties and ambiguities of the prevailing spirit as the faith once delivered to the saints than we should that one obscure bishop in an irregular canonical position calls it out in a way that suggests mistrust. It seems to me, if his assessment is correct regarding the questionable motives and agendas operating among the current regime, that contempt is a reasonable attitude.

  40. Anonymous7:16 AM

    There can be no doubt after reading this document that SSPX is a danger to souls of the catholics and a schismatic organization.

  41. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Mr Oritz is dead right. Infiltrate, agitate and consolidate. 'New blood' will also be a factor.

  42. Mr. McFarland:
    If you proclaim that schism is a refusal to obey the lawful authority of the Pope, then by your own definition, SSPX has been in and remains now, schismatic.

    I'm sure there are several points, but religious freedom has been mentioned. I've long felt that SSPX willfully misinterprets various statements from Popes and other figures. It appears as though SSPX can't stand to acknowledge any faith at all outside the traditional rendering of Catholic faith.

    I think that's a serious problem. If you can't be bothered to pray with another man in whatever he can understand now, how do you expect him to trust you enough to teach correctly regarding what you believe?

    Vatican II challenged us to live our faith ever more deeply internally, to refuse to be defined solely by dozens of precise practices. I know, many practices have been thrown out that shouldn't have been. Also, too often, people have assumed that "reaching out" meant you abandoned the faith you knew. That certainly won't work.

    But can you honestly say that we've all accomplished anything by refusing to kneel with someone from another faith?

    I suspect not.

  43. Anonymous8:50 AM

    The only nonsense I see here is coming from the anti-Williamson people, who are led by their dislike of that man rather than a fair analysis of the situation. Look, let us put aside the attacks and consider what Bishop Williamson is claiming. He seems to be affirming that the Pope is trying to effect regularisation by getting the S.S.P.X to sign on to the Catechism rather than the contested Vatican II documents.

    The Catechism is objectionable on several points and does indeed encompass some of the 'problems' with Vatican II documents. There is no need to go there here. Let us avoid that for just a moment.

    Essentially, W. is saying that the Pope is yet again trying to effect regularisation prior to resolution of the doctrinal questions being discussed. Bishop Fellay has himself affirmed that there will be no regularisation before resolution of doctrine. Period. End of story.

    Are Bishop Wiliamson's claims here true? I have no idea, although I don't doubt that he is reporting what he has heard from somewhere. If they are true, they suggest that His Holiness does not wish simply to grant special recognition to the Society without receiving something in return for it. Perhaps the Pope wants to avoid deciding certain doctrinal problems in the shorter term. The idea here is that the S.S.P.X could accept the Catechism in accordance with the assent that is demanded of it, which is not, I note, the assent required of infallible propositions.

    My own view? Bishop Fellay could agree to some specific adherence to Church doctrine in return for faculties, for example, or at least legal recognition of Society Masses (i.e. something signed by a Pope and not a Monsignor, and something published in the A.A.S.).

    In other words, there is a middle road here. Fellay could agree to a formulation presented by Rome (either a limited acceptance of the Catechism or a more complete acceptance of some other statement) but not in return for regularisation; instead, the Society would only get a certain recognition as a group of Catholics.

    If the Pope is attempting regulation before complete doctrinal agreement on the essentials of Vatican II documents I'd say that he's dreaming. It won't happen, and any attempt by Fellay to make that happen will result in a split in the Society. But if the Pope is attempting to get from the Society something substantial doctrinally inexchange for recognising Society Masses &/or faculties, well, that's another matter!

    Benedict XVI, I think, wants success is moving this process forward, even if a complete resolution is not possible in this time. So I would not want to accuse of the Pope of being a 'sneak'. He is doing what he can to effect unity in Holy Church. That should be our governing assumption.


  44. Anonymous8:55 AM

    Mr. Haley writes:

    "To come out with this rumor, and that's all it is as far as I can tell, and summarily announce that discussions have hit a brick wall, is nothing but a veiled attempt to see the talks scuttled in the first place."

    I don't want to agree or disagree with Mr. Haley here but simply point out that Bishop Williamson's perceptions of what it means for the discussions to have hit a brick wall may or may not be consonant with reality. We just don't know.

    I get the feeling that Bsp. W. thought that they had hit a brick wall before they began and, by this, I don't mean that he is wrong. It is only that his understanding of the situation will depend on his knowledge of the Society participants in the talks, for example.


  45. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Woody makes an excellent point here but, of course, what we don't know is how many would follow Bishop Williamson were there to be a division in the S.S.P.X. I don't have enough knowledge about the personalities in the S.S.P.X to comment, so I won't. Does anyone here have an idea on this?


  46. Anonymous9:19 AM


    What you write is absurd. Do you mean that the official priesthood that is filled with perverts, obvious heretics, and even liberation theology Bolsheviks is the safe Barque of Peter, whereas the S.S.P.X is in schism? The S.S.P.X merely holds fast to what has always been taught and believed. Let's face it: heroes like St. John Ogilvie would have burned the N.O. temples to the ground, convinced that they were half-Protestant and half-pagan covens.

    By their fruits (literally in this case) you will know them. There is not even one S.S.P.X priest who has simulated the marriage of two men in Toronto--or anywhere--not one. But there is an N.O. priest who has done so and he is not disciplined. He remains in good standing.

    No S.S.P.X priest has ever defended the right to an abortion on television. But Fr. Raymond Gravel of Montreal has. So why, after several years and a refusal to retract, is he still in good standing?

    No Society nun has ever escorted a young female victim to an abortuary to have her baby murdered. But there is a NewChurch nun in Illinois who has done so.

    These abortionists desereve the noose, but the C.C.C. won't tolerate that. The liberation theology communists belong in a prison cell (or worse) but they rule dicasteries insteead, until they turn 76 or even 77, even those from Brazil. However, you won't find any of them in the S.S.P.X. The only thing the Society seems to lack in its clergy is inverts and communists, heretics and pagans. You have to go to the dioceses to find those. And a communist is worse than a pervert. There is nothing on this earth as bad as a communist.

    I'm not saying that the Church is confined to the S.S.P.X, and the Society formally denies that. I am saying that it is Catholic, whereas the greater part of NewChurch ranges from heretical to confused.


  47. Marcia10:35 AM

    It's easy to see that those who favor, "newchurch" over true Traditional Worship are critical of his comments above, and those who wish to see The Roman Catholic Mass, Traditions, Doctrines, Catechism, and all that is reverent, good, and faithful restored, will find favor and defend them.

    All seem to be arguing over what they each 'choose to understand' - rather than about what Bishop Willimason is actually saying. (Sigh) - The Emperor's New Clothes: we what we have been 'influenced' to see.

    He is merely pointing out, and yes, in a reserved and not vulgar way, that there cannot be unification with Rome, unless the SSPX makes concessions to the very same things that it has been preserving from the get go - it would be dangerous for the faithful who are attending The SSPX Chapels, because The SSPX would no longer be the arms of The True Faith & Tradition it has been, as maintained (not invented or rebelled by) by ArchBishop Lefebvre when he first addressed these issues at Vatican II and later consecrated the for Bishops out of obvious necessity.

    We all make ourselves out to be Theologians and Inquisitors.

    Bishop Williamson, as I read these comments, is trying to say that Rome needs to return to True Worship and Doctrine, including all The True Teachings; and that anything less is dangerous for those attending the SSPX Chapels, as well as the rest of the Catholics following "newchurch".

    How can there be "compromise" for the sake of "peace"?

    Matthew 10:34:
    Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.

    We need to stop wasting time on analyzing and arguing, and pray and fast for God's Holy Will. God Bless.

  48. I dislike the use of these terms like "eternal magisterium," "eternal Rome," etc. A Magisterium that ends in 1960 is, by definition, not eternal. It's the pro-unification crowd that is trying to harmonize the entirety of the Magisterium's teachings, not Williamson. I'd say they're more closely approaching the idea of an eternal Magisterium.

    Johnny, please answer the question rather than picking on my choice of terms.

    Allow me to put it another way. What is in the catechism that Catholics are required to believe, that they were not required to believe up until the publication of the catechism? If nothing, then why use it as a litmus test for an "agreement"?

    As another post highlighted, it appears to be more of a face saving initiative (if true, that is) in wanting the SSPX to accept something from the post conciliar Church, rather than admit that none of the Vatican II changes (sacraments, catechism, etc.) are binding.

  49. John (Ad Orientem),

    Please be careful what you say. Bishop Williamson has stated many times that he is not a Sedevacantist. Your comments imply that he may be a liar. Please take the Bishop for what he says and does (i.e., being a member of the SSPX, which is not a Sedevacantist organization).

  50. 'Modernist' refers to the false teachings that can be found in the Anti-Modernist Oath that all Roman Catholic Priests had to swear before being ordained. Most of the condemned theses are in vogue among what passes for today's clergy. 'Marcel': the 'true Rome' is what + W supports. I agree with 'David Joyce' absolutely. "Pascendi': the Pope has authority to hold, maintain, conserve and pass on - unadulterated - that which the Church has always taught. If he does not, he has no 'Authority'. 'Bp Williamson should accept that which Pope Benedict extends.' - what utter, heretical rot! Prof. Basto said... Williamson = heretic. Proof, please! John McFarland is quite right. John (ad orientem) is not right but clearly well meaning (I hope). Teofilo de Jesus - sad, very sad. I knew the man - Bp Williamson - when I was a seminarian at Econe. He is a good man and a good Catholic Bishop who tries hard to teach what the Church has always taught. He is no heretic - those who say he is are simply wrong - some are foolish papolators and some are simply foolish but they speak, write and condemn Bp W when they should be still, listen, pray, think and ask questions. Consistent and enduring charity is not much in evidence in the new 'church of love' found in Rome. Some people writing here are a bit short on it, too, I think. Oremus et pro invicem - let them know we are true Catholics by our love in Truth and our charity to all, our un-toadying respect for legitimate authority and our loving tolerance of those we think in error, by the way we verbally wrestle and contest with each other, as with our own failings, foolishness and frailties. Above all, let there be no murmuring, no spite, no ire and no bad will. Et impleat Dominus corda nostra caritate et sanctitate. Surely we can all agree, a least thus far?

  51. Anonymous11:58 AM

    What is strange now is that there are APPROVED orders that do not accept the Catechism.

  52. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Bishop Richard Williamson...


  53. Oliver12:08 PM

    I see many causes for this 'generational drift'. The main one being the laity having to balance the reality of two distinctive religions under the Catholic label. The current problems in Rome are constantly in their faces which for many is creating a crisis of identity, not forgetting a false image of Rome being under seige. Add also the effect her timed spasms of visual conservatism are having on those not unduly bothered with doctrine.

    Another thing to take into account is the social and political world in which traditional Catholics are living. The pressures exerted by secular and aetheistic systems to conform will vary in their attitude to religion but the tendency is for it to suffer as old morals are abandoned. This leaves the nationals in each country to decide which master to obey out of choice or expedience.

    Of course, the internal politics within traditionalist apostolates has a lot to do with it. The faithful generally take their cue from a leadership which must take responsibility in part for the way they are thinking. A laity in confusion is a bad sign of a confused leadership. The result is the emergence of distinctive factions with their own leaders dividing nations, seminaries, parishes, priests and laity. And, if the history of religious fragmentation is a guide, there is no going back. If traditional Catholics in France and Germany now want to join the modern world, it is because of social pressure, modernist trickery and bad leadership creating a crisis of confidence.

  54. Anonymous1:08 PM

    Bishop Williamson is apparently unaware that "normally" he too does not have much longer to live. If that fact is sobering for our Holy Father, why is it not for Bishop Williamson?

  55. What is strange now is that there are APPROVED orders that do not accept the Catechism.

    What do you mean by "do not accept"? Presumably not "formally reject," since there are no approved orders that formally reject the Catechism of Vatican II.

  56. Anonymous2:48 PM

    Bishop Williamson does not pull things out of thin air. There must be much more going on behind closed doors in the Vatican just like there are in the CIA. If what he has heard is true, then you are all WRONG. When a man speaks the truth these days, he is seen as a lunatic. So I guess the most important of those lunatics was crucified on a cross for our redemption. Let Rome come home then we can say they're true shepherds.

  57. If there is a brick-wall, I submit it is because the Holy Spirit has not been invoked to lead the discussions. This is the only way, I think, that any sort of resolution of the doctrinal ambiguities of the post-Vatican II period may be achieved. To deny that there are ambiguities is to deny reality IMO. But to imply the Vicar of Christ is attempting some sort of charade is over the top.

    Frankly, I hope he does issue a motu proprio vindicating the position taken by the FSSPX and, once and for all, clarifying the ambiguities in the post Vatican II landscape along the lines of what the Church has always held, taught and professed to be true. That would be a landmark document, to be sure, and one that would go down in Church history as one of the most important of all time. But, it would also be the most difficult to prepare with the wolves snapping at his heels.

  58. John McFarland3:35 PM

    As regards the issue of who would go with whom in the event of a hypothetical split in the SSPX:

    First of all, you need to understand that there is nothing to split about. There is no difference in principle between Bishop Fellay and his chief advisors and Bishop Williamson, or between any of them and practically any other member of the SSPX, from the greatest even unto the least. That this is not more widely understood is just one more manifestation of the ignorance of what the SSPX is saying that I am constantly deploring.

    So a split would only take place if the SSPX leadership were to jettison the Society's principles and accept a deal that involved in one way or another the abandonment of its opposition to the conciliar magisterium.

    Bishop Williamson is clearly afraid that those in authority will in fact sell out -- or at least thinks it good to remind them constantly to take care lest they fall. His concern seems exaggerated, but he knows the relevant people much better than you or I. In any event, his is one man's opinion, and not an opinion with much if any support in the Society or among its allies and faithful.

    If the SSPX leadership were to make a deal in violation of its principles, roughly nobody would go with them. What that would mean organizationally, I have no idea. But it would not involve anybody going over to Bishop Williamson: it would involve Bishop Williamson and practically everyone else in the Society refusing to go over to conciliar Rome. I think the same would be true of the SSPX faithful.

    If the Society and its membership are prepared to disobey the Holy Father when and as necessary, why would they hesitate to disobey a hypothetical turncoat Bishop Fellay?

  59. John McFarland4:00 PM

    So there is the CCC, and a Compendium thereof that is clearer, or so it is alleged.

    Question: where the two are different, which is authoritative?

  60. Mr. McFarland says:

    But then Bishop Williamson believes that William Shakspear of Stratford-upon-Avon is Shakespeare, and in the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    While the latter position is generally viewed as eccentric (to put it mildly), the former certainly is not. There are not a few noteworthy Oxfordians out there, but they are still a ... minority.

    P.K.T.P says:

    Benedict XVI, I think, wants success is moving this process forward, even if a complete resolution is not possible in this time. So I would not want to accuse of the Pope of being a 'sneak'. He is doing what he can to effect unity in Holy Church. That should be our governing assumption.

    This is one of the shrewdest observations that has been posted here (and not surprisingly, from Mr. Perkins).

    I'll believe what happens when I see it. What we've heard so far is, at best, conjecture, and at worst, maneuvering. I have no idea which it is with Bishop Williamson. He is, perhaps, not an unbiased source.

    I only know I would like to see a reconciliation, albeit certainly one which conforms to the truth of the Catholic faith.

  61. Anonymous4:04 PM

    I'm fed up of hearing from Bishop Williamson. Please, Bishop Fellay, put him into permanent retirement!

  62. As a former SSPX cleric and seminarian, I may have a more informed entry than some who have posted on this comment string.
    Parenthetically, I might add that I also continue to attend Mass at a church served by SSPX clergy. My children also attend a school run by priests of the SSPX.
    For those that would dismiss me as biased consider yourselves forewarned! With this having been said, I make no apology for having been given the integral Catholic Faith at the hands of generous men who are the spiritual sons of a saint--God willing the Church declares this one day.

    * Bishop Williamson is not a sede-vacantist. That drum historically is beaten by souls that REFUSE to admit the complexity of this epoch of history within Christ's Church. That argument is made to simply dismiss Bishop Williamson as 'imprudent', 'crazy', 'batty', or 'intransigent'. It seems to me that similar monikers were attached to Archbishop Lefebvre. (Has anyone read Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre? And all the volumes?)
    * To call Bishop Williamson schismatic is to be ignorant of the words spoken by Archbishop Lefebvre at the time of the suspension in 1976, and also of the sermon he gave in June 1988.
    Sticks and stones...
    * The SSPX appears to fulfill the admonitions of Pope Pius XI when he wrote, "...We mean that solid piety which is not dependent upon changing mood or feeling. It is based upon principles of sound doctrine; it is ruled by staunch convictions; and so it resists the assaults and the illusions of temptation. This piety should primarily be directed towards God our Father in Heaven; yet it should be extended also to the Mother of God."(Encyclical--Ad Catholici Sacerdotii, Pius XI, Dec. 20, 1935 While it appears that the SSPX came into existence for THIS reason, there is no guarantee that all its priests have this piety in the same degree, or that they will always retain it. This admonition is true for all clergy as it was given by the Roman Pontiff. It is valid regardless of the clergyman's canonical state!
    At least 1 bishop of the SSPX has been a consistent cage-rattler about the Roman authorities--and in similar fashion so was Archbishop Lefebvre. We should all fear pharisaical religion coming from Rome or the headquarters of ANY religious order in the world.

  63. Pascendi Dominici Gregis 'on the doctrine of the modernists' 9/8/1907

    ~paragraph 3
    "...We have said, they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within. Hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of her is more intimate. Moreover, they lay the ax not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers. And once having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to diffuse poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth which they leave untouched, none that they do not strive to corrupt. Further, none is more skillful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious devices; for they play the double part of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and as audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for irreproachable morality."

    Let us all pray that Rome put away its 'axe' and stop laying waste to the roots of the Faith.

  64. Anonymous5:04 PM

    I do not belong to the SSPX and see Bishop Williamson as a loose canon, but if the SSPX accepts an agreement as he (Williamson) outlined it is finished. You can't cut deals with modernists.

  65. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Here's my paltry contribution.

    I, too, have read the CCC. There's nothing "Catholic" about protestants being allowed to receive Holy Communion, and I don't care if it claims to be only in limited circumstances. We all know how that plays out in the post-conciliar Church -- the exception becomes the rule.

    Prof. Basto, don't go overboard. If Bishop Williamson is a "heretic" what does that make many of his counterparts in the Church?

    Am I the only one that finds it supremely ironic that the red flags get raised and the warning sirens go off for Bishop Williamson, yet the real enemy is allowed to continue along sowing discord and more confusion?

    I have no stake in this as I have nothing to do with the SSPX nor do I care for them, but fellows, come on!! At least know your real enemy.


  66. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Bishop Williamson wrote:

    ..."That danger is a political deal which would simply go round the side of the doctrinal blockage. Politics threaten to circumvent doctrine."

    ..."Agreemant before doctrine means politics before religion, unity before truth, man before God."

    ..."God before man means truth before unity, religion before politics and doctrine before any non-doctrinal agreement."

    It's interesting that the bishop would say that an agreement before doctrine means politics before religion, and unity before truth, since Bp. Williamson is guilty of doing exactly the same thing which he accuse "Newchurch" of doing.

    In looking at his relatively mild articles of the past month or two, it may be easy to forget the more extreme political views which he has expounded, which has included promoting the work of many non-Catholics.

  67. Anonymous5:50 PM

    a catechism can be easily revised and reprinted ommitting anything contrary to tradition

  68. Joe B6:36 PM

    FSSP accepts the CCC, I'm sure, and they have absolutely no influence in the church. Not even a bishop after all these years. There would be nothing for the security of traditionalists in that deal. I trust Bishop Fellay won't fall for it. He is an extraordinary bishop, well chosen by a very holy archbishop. If Bishop Williamson errs on the side of imprudence or sometimes just plain errs, that's trivial compared to the errors of Novus Ordo bishops. I have to take issue with Mr McFarland's statement that there is no difference between the SSPX bishops. Bishop Williamson is not SSPX, and isn't in Bishop Fellay's class.

    Can you still not see that SSPX isn't in this for self recognition? They are defending holy Catholic tradition against the Novus Ordo orientation which dominates Rome. We all see the plank in the eye of the Novus Ordo orientation - it is failing to lead us through the period it was supposedly designed to overcome, and souls appear to be being lost like snowflakes in a Winter storm as a result.

    I've never met the man, but Bishop Williamson with all his faults appears to me to be beatification material compared to those who refuse to admit the disasterous failure of the Novus Ordo orientation, and have the authority to reverse it, but won't.

  69. Anonymous7:01 PM

    Ahh! the Rorate Caeli recess.

    Now there are back to back posts juxtaposing "Newchurch" treatment of the ICRSS with a Bishop Williamson invective. A little manufacturing consent, perhaps?

    What is this term "Newchurch" other than a foil used to justify certain positions. To use the term Newchurch is to imply that there is no Catholic Church in Rome at this moment in time. If Bishop Williamson is not a sedevacantist, then he should learn to speak more clearly. Anyone who reads this particular statement would be right to conclude that he is sedevacantist. Si Si, No No.

    P.K.T.P offers a clear list of abuses in the Catholic Church but then closes with reference to Newchurch. Which is it? Catholic Church in crisis? or, something called Newchurch?

    Who cares what happens in Newchurch -- unless Newchurch happens to be the Catholic Church in crisis -- in which case, the terminology is misleading and the conclusions drawn from it, questionable.

    To use the term Newchurch is a direct insult to the Vicar of Christ and to the Catholic Church. Newchurch is essentially a sedevacantist term that should be avoided by those who would like to call themselves Catholic.

    Nevertheless, it is quite often employed by those who are simply too lazy to distinguish between abuses in the Church and the Church herself; or, ambiguities in the VII texts and the heretical exploitation of such texts.

    The SSPX position, as offered by Bishop Williamson, only makes sense when the term Newchurch is inserted here and there as the foil. Propaganda at its best.

    The ICRSS walking the walk. The SSPX talking the talk.

  70. It is only that his understanding of the situation will depend on his knowledge of the Society participants in the talks, for example.

    As well as his assumptions about the other participants in the talks.

  71. " and he does not normally have too much longer to live !"

    Referring to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, this is comment is incredibly insulting to Roman Catholics. Long live His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI!

  72. Williamson is not truly Catholic. He was and I believe still is "High Anglican"(sp?), or maybe Orthodox. He will never accept the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. Since he was raised to the Episcopacy he believes he has no superior.

    I thought Fellay ordered him to keep his mouth shut. If not, he should!!!

    Banzai from Louisiana

  73. Anonymous8:40 PM

    Joe B,

    Regarding the what you mentioned about the FSSP having no influence in the Church, you are probably right if what you meant is that they do not feel that their calling is in telling Rome what it must believe if it is to remain Catholic.

    However, they do have a positive influence in that they provide the sacraments in parishes where they have been invited by the local ordinary.

    They do not provide Confirmation, of course, but that's a good thing. Not having a bishop means that an archbishop must be found who will provide this sacrament. Sometimes, a bishop who has not celebrated the traditional Confirmation for a long time gives consent to provide it, which has positive benefits in itself.

    While you may be correct about the SSPX not wanting recognition for itself, I think it's safe to say that Archbishop Lefebvre wanted his Fraternity to be recognised as being the last remaining bastion of orthodoxy left in the Church.

  74. "... from what appears to be Rome"


    The Pope and the bishops united with him are now a questionable appearance?? Has the visible Church then defected? Bp. Williamson -- given his public utterances, owes a public explanation.

    This is a schismatic mentality. Very sad. And to quote the man himself, very dangerous.

  75. John McFarland9:55 PM


    Oxfordians are indeed a minority, and a very small one at that.

    So are Catholic traditionalists.


    With all due respect to Mr. Perkins, the fact that the Pope is giving priority to unity is only slightly less obvious than the fact that the sun rises in the east.

    Bishop Williamson and all the SSPX understand that -- and denounce it because the Faith comes first.

    Unfortunately, most "deal traditionalists" are too confused even to understand that there is a distinction between unity and truth, which means that they are conciliar Catholics who attend the traditional Mass. They don't understand the SSPX, but their instinctive rejection of the Society is basically accurate; the Society is not professing what they profess.

    Mr. Perkins is his own genus of deal traditionalist. He understands that the conciliar magisterium is unsound, but he thinks that all that tradition is entitled to is equal rights in The Marketplace of Competing (Allegedly) Catholic Magisteria. Furthermore, once he starts casting around for allies in selling the traditional product in the Marketplace, as a practical matter his doctrinal (and for that matter, liturgical) objections go out the window, as witnessed by his throb for the "reunion" with the TACers -- retrofitted Anglican service, CCC and all.

  76. John McFarland9:59 PM

    Anonymous 17:40,

    Would you please explain how Bishop Williamson puts politics before religion, and unity before truth.

  77. Joseph Ratzinger, as priest, bishop, cardinal, and now pope has always fostered an ecumenism in contradiction to the perrenial magisterium. Here are a few quotes:

    “A basic unity – of churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church – must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it."
    (Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, ‘Theological Highlights of Vatican II’, pg. 73, 1966)

    “The Council distanced itself from Pius XII (Mystici Corporis), who had said: The Catholic Church ‘is’ the unique mystical Body of Christ. It is the difference between the ‘subsists’ and the ‘is’ of Pius XII that the whole ecumenical problem lies.”
    (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, quoted in the 4/3/2000 edition of the ‘Osservatore Romano’)

    “It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.”
    (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ‘Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church’, June 29, 2007)

    Bishop Williamson is justified in his concerns.

  78. Anonymous10:30 PM

    The statements accusing Bishop Williamson's detractors of ignoring the heretical and subversive clergy within the Novus Ordo are absurd. The readers of this blog are well aware of the problems within the Church at large. That is not the issue. The issue is whether or not Bishop Williamson hinders the regularization of the SSPX and the restoration of Tradition.

  79. Anonymous12:02 AM

    Just one person mentionned T.A.C. : the process of reconciliation - stalled apparently in the last months - started by contacts followed by T.A.C approval of the C.C.C.
    So the pattern that is frightening Bp W. is exactly the same.

    By the way has anybody any news about T.A.C ? Is the Constitution granted to potential Anglican Catholics a dead letter ? The big reunion announced at the sound of myriad of trumpets was a ... hoax ?

    nb. the C.C.C. was heavily criticized by S.S.P.X in 1992 and I doubt it could be so easily accepted today.


  80. Anonymous1:31 AM

    More relevant than ever:

    In the December Letter from the District Superior of the SSPX in Great Britain, Fr Paul Morgan, criticises the community of Papa Stronsay. I make a reply.

    1. Father speaks against our 'practical agreement' with the Holy See.

    He insists on “a solution to the doctrinal issues before there can be any practical agreement with the Roman authorities.” He says: “The Superior General alludes to the unacceptable situation of those communities who have sought a practical agreement prior to the major issues being addressed. In this regard we cannot but think of the community of Papa Stronsay here in Britain.”

    Rather than make his own submission to the Holy See, what Fr. Morgan advocates is to play a waiting game with the Pope, the Church and ultimately with God. This is a dangerous idea full of dangerous possibilities for his own soul and for the souls of those he is leading.

    The ambiguities of the Second Vatican Council remain to be clarified, this is certain. But far from denying the bi-millennial tradition of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI is acutely aware of the need to reconcile the Second Vatican Council with tradition. How exactly to do so remains the poignant question of our day. It is a question that will not be solved easily nor soon – this we can gather from the manner in which the Church has dealt with problematic declarations of councils in the past.

    We are thinking specifically of the Council of Constance (1414 - 1417) and some of the texts of this council that Pope Martin V could not confirm. Nor did he feel the authority to condemn them. Specifically, these were declarations that a General Council is superior to the Pope, that periodically a General Council should assemble and check on the Pope, etc. The three Popes who followed the Council of Constance had quite a lot just to try to undo this mischief, and the full effect was only felt at the next General Council of Basel / Ferrara / Florence... Only part of the theological problem was addressed at the Council of Florence (25 years later), but the issue was really completely solved only at the First Vatican Council in 1870 - more than 400 years later!

    Imagine for a moment that you were a traditional Catholic living in 1418; you disagreed with the teachings of the Council of Constance; and Pope Martin and his successors were not resolving matters...

    Taking the SSPX approach you would have to wait 400 years before joining the structures of the Church.

    Is that God's will? Does that sound like the Catholic approach?

    This idea is a soft introduction to schism.

    2. Fr Morgan also reports that I openly claim “that the SSPX and its supporters are outside the Catholic Church and in danger of losing their souls.” This is false.

    a. I believe that the SSPX as a group of priests are outside the structures of the Church. This is clear. SSPX priests are not submitted to the Holy See, nor to Local Ordinaries or Ordinaries. Objectively this is dangerous to salvation. Subjectively it is another matter.

    b. I do not hold any opinion about SSPX supporters (as a group or as individuals) being inside or outside the Church. I have no set opinion about their salvation.

    c. I hold that a person may attend Mass in a SSPX chapel in good conscience if he does it without adhering to any schismatic mentality.

    Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

  81. Anonymous1:38 AM

    " FSSP accepts the CCC, I'm sure, and they have absolutely no influence in the church."

    Well, I guess that depends on what you call influence. Perhaps they don't aspire to wield power like Opus Dei or the Legionaries of Christ and I don't see them sending expensive Spanish hams to Bishops at Christmas but that didn't work out so well in the end for the Legionaries did it?

    FSSP does one thing, they celebrate the traditional Mass of the Ages perfectly. By doing this, they have a LOT more influence then you imagine. They are growing rapidly rapidly against very real, liberal opposition. The FSSP masses here in Florida (where I attend) are packed to the gills and they just opened a new Seminary in Nebraska which was attended by Cardinal Levada (not exactly a light weight). One of the reasons there have been no FSSP Bishops appointed is that most of these wonderful priests are about 33 years old!

    "No Influence"? I'm sure FSSP would accept that with welcome humility but the fact is their influence and their churches / masses grow by the week while the Novus Ordo sits around wondering how they consolidate more parishes for the guitar strumming what-have-you. Deo Gratias!

  82. Anonymous4:17 AM

    We really need to fruit of these talk to be allowed to ripen. My greatest prayer to God is that these tlaks might produce clarifications that would correct and help clarify a correct reading of Vatican 11.
    These talks are absolutely crucial and I hope they are concluded without just saying lets agree to disagree.

  83. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Some Anon. writes:

    "To use the term Newchurch is a direct insult to the Vicar of Christ and to the Catholic Church. Newchurch is essentially a sedevacantist term that should be avoided by those who would like to call themselves Catholic."

    NewChurch is quite real. It is a counter-church created shortly before the Council and built during and after it. It refers to a group of Baptized heretics and schismatics, some of whom are only material heretics while others go even further. It includes many clerics and prelates, and many laics as well. NewChurch and TrueChurch share the same buildings are are appointed by the same bodies. NewChurch is a false church that has not been juridically separated from Eternal Rome.

    TrueChurch is not the S.S.P.X but includes the S.S.P.X. There certainly are real Catholics who are not S.S.P.X supporters. Some perhaps would support a Society chapel were there one in their area; others would not.

    The Church consists of those in communion with one another under the Pope. Communion is a unity of faith, governance, discipline. Now, don't tell us that this excludes the Society: we've been over that. It is a unity in which is necessary in each category.

    Baptized persons who do not believe in transubstantiaion are objectively NOT Catholic. (This is just one case.) According to a detaled U.S. poll, that alone excludes 82% of American Catholics. Now, of course, some of those do not reject the teaching, but others clearly do, and their number is apparently large.

    The Church is the society of the believers and not just a group of people who once received the Sacrament of Baptism.


  84. Yes, Br Anthony, the SSPX issued an excellent paper subsequently developed elsewhere concerning the flawed theology of the catechism of the neo-Catholic church. It is the mouthpiece of the modernist councils. It often poses more questions about Catholicism in ambiguous prose than it clarifies without doubt what we should believe. The Council of Trent produced a Catechism which is amply clear about The Faith and surpasses in every respect the verbiage of post-conciliar ideology.

  85. Anonymous8:58 AM

    In response to Mr. McFarland's characterisation of my position, I can only reiterate what I wrote before.

    Unity and truth can perhaps come together. It all depends on how much unity we can have right now and on how much truth we can agree about. It may be possible to agree on much and accept a parallel limited unity as a result, leaving perfected unity to a final day--when complete truth can also be agreed on.

    I do think that the Pope wants unity but so does Bishop Fellay. The latter also wants unity within the S.S.P.X, which is why I cannot see how there could be a 'regularisation' of the Society at this time. Indded, my own view is that this regularisation will come; it will come when the popes renounce the conciliar and post-conciliar errors that they continue to advance.

    In the mean time, the Pope could reach a partial agreement and settle for a 'recognition' of the Society instead of a regularisation. In other words, he could take some steps in the right direction, even if reaching the finish line is practically impossible in this time.

    The Pope could settle the matter simply be anathematising the liberals' errors today, now. This would require heroic virtue and real daring. I am not holding my breath waiting for it. What I am hoping for in the near term is a public and legally-valid admission by Rome that the Society is Catholic and that its Masses fulfil the Sunday obligation. A recognition of faculties would be even better but perhaps too much of a dream.

    There is nothing wrong with this hope, and it would serve the interests both of the S.S.P.X and of other traditionalists. Mr. McFarland, however, is not interested in seeing any moves towards unity in truth. Despising the current Roman régime completely, he wants to see the liberals punished and the conservatives made to realise their error. While these outcomes are good in themselves, they are less beneficital and medicinal than exposing as many faithful as possible to the ancient Latin Mass and its entire culture and ethos. A recognition of the Society would help achieve that.


  86. "a correct reading of Vatican 11...."

    This is utterly impossible with documents produced that are ambiguous and encourage equivocation. These would have to be extensively revised and made absolutely clear in favour of The Roman Catholic faith without liberalised additions.

  87. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Dear Alsaticus:

    The TAC is not dead and the motu proprio for them is not a dead letter. Various TAC national churches are in the process of entering ordinariates. I am told that the first ordinariates will come by Advent. Seven TAC churches have asked for the ordinariates.

    There have indeed been some problems, as expected. Many TAC members in the U.S.A. are holding back, and there has been some recent trouble even in Australia, much less in Canada.

    The tiny Puerto Rican TAC is likely to enter an ordinariate united--and soon. Most in the Canadian one are also coming over together. The situation in England is complicated: the TAC want the ordinariate but Rome might be waiting for the ditherers in the Church of England, those in 'Forward in Faith'.

    In the end, I think that the ordinariates will combine TAC members, some Canterburian Anglicans, some other splinter groups, and even some Latin non-traditionalist conservatives.


  88. Anonymous9:24 AM

    I remember reading a quote of JP II which said, "Where the decrees of Vatican II are concerned, they must be read in the light of Tradition and where found to be in conflict with Tradjtion, they must be disregarded." Similarly, I have seen this written about pre and post Vatican II Catholics: "If you are right now, they were wrong then. If they were right then, you are wrong now."

  89. Anonymous11:39 AM

    "By the way has anybody any news about T.A.C ? Is the Constitution granted to potential Anglican Catholics a dead letter ? The big reunion announced at the sound of myriad of trumpets was a ... hoax ?"

    Not at all. Have a look at the anglo-catholic blog for extensive news and articles. There are many places where the TAC churches (and a grab-bag of other assorted Anglo-Catholics) have formally requested an Ordinariate months ago, but there is no movement on the Vatican side. Perhaps this is because they are waiting until after the Newman beatification. At any rate this is going slowly (though if you announce a major initiative which people commit to, and then do nothing for a year or more, it leaves many in a difficult position). It is the case that the U.S. TAC branch is split (the ACA) on the issue, but the other countries seem to be proceeding with only minor problems.

  90. There is no way that the SSPX can accept the 1992 catechism:

    New Catechism - Is It Catholic?

  91. Anonymous4:33 PM

    How is the SSPX going to accept JPII's catechism when it says that the liturgical reform and religious freedom was good for the church? It is impossible!

  92. John McFarland4:44 PM

    Mr. Perkins,

    As always, your analysis reminds me of a phrase of the late American sociologist and social critic C. Wright Mills: crackpot realism.

    You are hypothesizing a gradual reconciliation that would be unnecessary if the parties were in basic agreement, and is impossible because manifestly they are NOT in basic agreement.

    Your first few sentences looks for all the world like a caricature of conciliar doubletalk ("parallel limited unity"), but unfortunately you are clearly in dead earnest.

    Jordanes defends the Pope, but at least he doesn't talk like him.

    Let you yes be yes, and your no be no, or you're no traditionalist.

  93. John McFarland4:47 PM

    Brother Anthony is of course quite right, since the CCC could fairly be called the Catechism of Vatican II, as the article he links demonstrates.

  94. Anonymous6:36 PM

    If there is a "reconciliation" between the SSPX and Rome, what will happend when the sspx bishops's successor are appointed? Who is going to make that decision? Rome? If so, they will appoint Vatican II bishops, not traditionalists. This a marriage of hell! It is impossible! Either Joseph Ratzinger or the SSPX are deluding themselves.

  95. Anonymous6:41 PM

    "...valid admission by Rome that the Society is Catholic and that its Masses fulfil the Sunday obligation."

    This has already been established by the PCED.
    If not, then thousands of Catholics are comitting mortal sin by not fulfilling their Holy Day obligations.
    What is needed, at the least, is a recognition by the proper Roman authority, that FSSPX confessions and Marriages are valid.
    They most likely are under current Canon Law, but we need more certainty of this.
    Many Catholics are actually morally incapable of going to diocesan confessions and are only able, in many cases, to aproach FSSPX priests.

    Cruise the Groove.

  96. Anonymous10:05 PM

    Fr. Michael Mary Fssr wrote :

    "Taking the SSPX approach you would have to wait 400 years before joining the structures of the Church.

    Is that God's will? Does that sound like the Catholic approach?"

    I would not say it's the SSPX approach but waiting 400 years is probably Bp Williamson's "approach", if I can use this word in these circumstances ...
    In French, it means also getting near so it's probably a banned word in his book.

    Basically the question for SSPX is how to be "within" the Church without being entirely linked to the post-conciliar magisterium and hierarchy.
    Bp Williamson would probably be satisfied to be a sort of Interim Church waiting for the solemn erasement of any document after 1962.
    But I won't bet all and every Society members are like him.

    nb. thanks to P.T.K.P. for the T.A.C. last news : after the media turmoil last year, it seemed to have vanished from the screens today. And we don't have yet one Ordinariate erected after one year.


  97. John McFarland10:25 PM

    Anonymous 18:36,

    Now you understand the SSPX's problem. Jesus says that those unfaithful in small things will be unfaithful in great things. So what of those whom you have concluded are unfaithful in the greatest things of all?

    It also explains why many, against all the evidence, deal with the basic problem by convincing themselves that there really is no basic problem.

  98. John McFarland, the most basic common sense would tell me that the SSPX has already thought this through. Nevertheless, by enganging in a rapproachment with the Vatican II Rome, the SSPX have placed themselves in a dilemma: either "tolerate" Vatican II or destroy what has already been accomplished: remission of excomunications and the "tolerance" by the Holy See of the traditional liturgy in the Church. If the SSPX has already accepted to tolerate Vatican II(because Ratzinger will not revoke the II Vatican Council), then the question is whether the SSPX will be allowed to live and thrive as traditionalist Catholics within the Conciliar Church. Mons. Lefebvre thought that it was not possible. Has Rome changed enough to change that belief? I wouldn't bet my money that they have.

  99. 'Anonymous' writes this. 'Anonymous' says that. OK, folks, in all charity let me say that 'Anonymous' is getting on my wick because I have this weird idea that people who believe what they say should stand front and centre and be counted. 'Anonymous' is the person or pesons unknown who has wrecked many a good vocation by snitching and haiding behind a veil of anonymity. 'Anonymous' is the man or woman who ontificates but takes no responsibility for what he or she says. 'Anonymous' is a natural coward and should have some courage - cummon, God loves ya, dummy. maybe we will, too, even if we don't agree with you! Who wants to form a Catholic Society for the suppression of the 'Anonymous' tendancy and the encouragement of honesty?

  100. Anonymous6:27 PM

    "Jackson of" is no better than "anonymous". "Jackson of" has not even made public his or her blogger profile!! A ridiculous tirade "Jackson of".

    Take the names away and you will be able to focus on the words. If Williamson's name was not attached to the statement, all readers would have understood the propaganda speech better. Instead, Williamson's name raised the drivel to some unwarranted level (Rorate Caeli eagerly picked it up) and then a few days later Fellay clears it up.

    Forget the names -- read the words. Think.

  101. John McFarland8:34 PM


    I'm not following you.

    1. Rapprochement? Tolerance? What are you talking about?

    Bishop Galarreta, who is the head of the SSPX team talking with the Vatican, has said that they'll finish up the conversations next year, and that will be that. He clearly expects nothing to come out of discussions, and implies that so far, at least, there has been no talk of what (if anything) will happen next between the Vatican and the Society.

    2. Reprisals against the SSPX for its failure to accept Vatican II? I wish that that were our only worry, since it's no worry at all. The Vatican would be crazy to do any such thing. It would be seen for what it would be -- an admission of failure -- and the Vatican would be seen (correctly) as a bunch of jerks. Meanwhile, the reprisals would make clear that anreformed Vatican is the enemy of traditionalism, and so strengthen the SSPX's position in the eyes of all but the most determinedly clueless traditionalists.

    3. It is not the SSPX that finds itself in an uncomfortable position. It is the Vatican. The Vatican has not convinced the SSPX. What will it do once the discussion are completed? Go public with a ringing defense of its position? That tissue of equivocation and error, without any pedigree before 1962 except papal denunciations? Not a chance. Their only protection is those ripest and most savory fruits of Vatican II, the ignorance and indifference of the vast majority of Catholics. The Vatican will be able to slink away from the whole issue because outside of traditionalist circles nobody much cares.

  102. John McFarland, I would say that the one that is set to benefit the most out this rapproachment between the Holy See and the SSPX is Pope Ratzinger. This would surely beef up his fame, althought he is completely without merits because Ratzinger has only confirmed what his predecesors: John XXIII, Paul VI, JPI and JPII did, He hasn't changed one single iota of the reformed liturgy or the moral decline of the church, and we are into his sixth year of pontificate. In this context, the SSPX is bound to loose, not to gain. I really do not understand the SSPX's strategy because I really don't see any change on the part of the Holy See. It would be presumptous for the SSPX to believe that they are talking with religious men, they are not, as the case Maciel case proved.

  103. Even Summorum Pontificum was not the "restoration" of the tridentine liturgy that made us believed it was, because Ratzinger objective with this motu propio was to set the foundations for "possible" future synthesis of the Novus Ordo and the Tridentine liturgy (?) How would this be possible is beyond my understanding because the spirituality of one is opposite to the other. Ratzinger believes in the reformed liturgy, even though he made a lot of money writing books denouncing it.

  104. Anonymous7:34 AM

    I knew Father Ratzinger before he was elevated to the episcopate of the present, tuling neo-Modernist, neo-Anglican cabal in Rome. Before anyone jumps to any false conclusions and to save anyone the fatigue of running to the hills (which are not alive with the sound of any music that Maria von Trapp would wish to hear but with the cacophony of liberal protestant voices contending for primacy over their church, just like the 'Anglican communion', to its deep embarrassment and eternal shame) let me make clear that I am not a 'sedevacanist', neither do I say Fr Ratzinger is not a validly consecrated/ordained Bishop. On those questions I feel unable safely enough to pronounce in a manner that would satisfy my conscience - my 'sacramental theology' is not good enough even though it is as good as that of most Priests and is on paper vastly better than most. My knowledge of Fr Ratzinger is limited but he is a most intelligent man even though woolly at the edges of this thought patterns. He lets his wishes - his heart - contaminate the purity of his reason, almost as though wishing made something happen. Paul VI wished that in protestantising the Mass and reducing it to a Cranmerian communion service he would bring Anglicans and others back to the oneness of the True Faith. His 'heart was in the right place', in one sense, but he had been so corrupted by the softness of Modernism's 'thinking' that his actions became those of the liberal protestant and he was directly responsible for the destruction of the Mass and for the sacramental defrauding of hundreds of millions of ordinary, decent and faithful Catholic souls. Fr Ratzinger is such a man. His mind - assuming it is as sharp as it was when I knew him - tells him to do what his heart will not countenance. It tells him to condemn errors, to discipline theologians and errant bishops, to expel the unCatholic teachers from the formerly but no longer Catholic institutions of learning and restore the orthodox catholic liturgy of the Sacraments and to return, more or less, to the True Mass. This will not happen because he has no authority or discipline left over the 'college of bishops' and he hates to appear to offend protestants. Orthodox Priests tell me of the growing feeling within their Churches that the Apostolic Succession may have been lost through defects in the rite for the 'ordination of a bishop' and of their horror at hearing catholic presbyters refer to adoration of the Sanctissimum as "bread worship" and say that "Jesus is equally present in the Lectionary, you know?" Kyrie eleison! Indeed, Kyrie eleison!!!

    Jackson of Piccadilly scripsit

  105. Anonymous10:36 AM

    Some 'anonymous' is, indeed, a hider in the shadows. Such an 'anonymous is also a coward and a dissembler. Got a beef with me? Write to me at

    Jackson of Piccadilly scripsit.

  106. Anonymous4:52 AM

    Mr. McFarland is not paying much attention to what I mean, concentrating instead on the formulations I have employed to convey it.

    There is no 'grandual reconciliation', really. All Catholics are already in communion with one another and there is no such thing as partial communion.

    However, not all Catholics are in agreement about what to do about the liberal heretics in our midst, given the particular difficulties and circumstances. The gradual reconcilation, therefore, is only between the followers of two different strategies.

    I take the view that most of the prelates of the Church are material heretics because their beliefs regarding religious liberty and œcumenism are not compatible with the perennial teachings of the Church. Perhaps the controverted Vatican II documents can be reconciled with the Dogma of the Faith but prelates' understandings of them cannot. It follows that there can be no complete 'reconcilation' until this crop of prelates retires and dies or else is expelled en masse.

    The Pope takes the view that a great purge would do more harm than good (especially since he might have to purge himself). I'm not sure I agree but one needn't be a supporter of the Society whether one agrees wtih this view or 'gradual reconciliation' or not. It is, like it or not, the course that has been set by the Vicar of Christ.

    Again, while he refrains from saying so, I get the feeling that Mr. McFarland would be overwhelmed with grief if the Holy See were to recognise Society Masses or grant faculties to the Society unilaterally. He enjoys standing 'in splendid isolation'.


  107. Anonymous5:09 AM

    Mr. McFarland's foregoing Point #2 is exactly right, which is why I think that this entire discussion is a tempest in a teapot. The fact is that there is no official disagreement between Bishop Fellay and Bishop Willilamson. Both have said that regularisation must follow doctrinal agreement, and neither has suggested anywhere that doctinal agreement is on the horizon. The bit about the Catechism is a rumour. Perhaps Rome has proposed a regularisation based on accepting the C.C.C. but I don't see Bishop Fellay agreeing to that.


  108. John McFarland10:59 PM

    Mr. Perkins,

    I would be quite happy if the Vatican were to recognize Society Masses and/or grant faculties to the Society unilaterally. But in my judgment (1) it isn't going to happen (a proposition with which you regretfully agree), and (2) if it did happen, it would have much less effect than you and others hope.

    Furthermore, it tends to reinforce that He's On Our Side view of the Pope -- even in you, who are under no illusions regarding the quality of his magisterium. In my view, unless and until he returns to tradition, he can't be On Our Side in any meaningful way. You, on the other hand, seem to think that there's some way he can play a role in fixing things with returning to tradition, and that some pious wheeling and dealing is possible.

  109. Anonymous10:21 PM

    @John MacFarland et al: Hold on just a moment. I have never said that the SSPX is in schism. I do wonder about H.E. Williamson though. It would seem that his comments above would constitute material schism. Whether they are an actual formal schism is another matter. He seems unwilling to accept even the legitimate authority of the Pope, in his comments it does seem like he will not accept any deal whatsoever, he will not ever come to the conclusion that he might be wrong on something. It would seem like even if Pope Benedict made a solemn dogmatic definition of something that H.E. Williamson does not agree with he would not submit. He just comes of as a proud and self-righteous man about to embrace sedevacantism. If he is is for God to decide, but that is how he appears.

    And to launch accusations that I am in favor of the Novus Ordo or the laxity in discipline or modernist ecumenism just because I consider statements such as those by H.E. Williamson to be highly inappropriate (to say the least) is just a non sequitur. Just to be clear I hold firm my position that the Church must renounce its agreement with Moscow and start condemning communism in China and the PCA, it must discipline perverts among the clerics and start an all-out Inquisition. I hold firm that the Church needs to bring back the Gregorian Mass as the received and approved rite of Mass for the Latin Church, that we must do the only "ecumenical" thing possible: to stop with modernist ecumenism and promote unity by encouraging individual and collective conversions to the One True Faith and so on.

    But we can never defend want of loyal submission to the Roman Pontiff and his legitimate authority. That is material schism and if formalised would make us schismatics and outside of salvation...

    Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia!

    Slave of Mary,

  110. I have never met RW but I am English born. RW is skilled in using anti-Roman rhetoric but beyond that I wouldn't be prepared to ready any more into his comments.

    I doubt that Benedict will resolve this issue by MP as he is suggesting.

    My hope is that the SSPX situation can be regularized and further suspect that in my English diocese their one solitary parish would see an increase in parishoners as a result. I would love RW to offer Mass here but fear he has now been permanently exiled.

  111. Bp Williamson offers Mass, of course he does. Would that his masses were always or almost always with a congregation but Abp Lefebvre usually offered Mass with an attending Deacon and a seminarian as his servers, the rest of the seminarian body being otherwise occupied. I do not fall into accepting the New Presbyers' mantra of 'no mass without a congregation' - thus emphasising the 'priesthood of the People' whose presence seems to imply some form of 'consent' to their 'sacra synaxis' or 'sacrificium laudis' and thus to lending some 'regularity' or even 'validity' to the 'celebration', as though the Mass were some sort of ecclesiatically approved and organised scouts' picnic over which the 'presbyter' presides to somehow make it official. Would, in these terrible days, that all Masses were attended by congregations and the larger the better to the glory of our most glorious and most merciful God and the edification - the building up and rebuilding of the entire Church Militant, so sadly 'Officerless' to the eternal shame of those who have hoodwinked and defrauded the Faithful for far too long, may God forgive them for their intellectual arrogance and pride. Bring back Bishop Williamson, put him front and centre and let him be unshackled. Fellay and his henchmen and enforcers have ruled too long. Time for even Bp Fellay to learn some humility and for the first time in his episcopate sine Abp Lefebvre's death, to obey and to follow the Abp's founding and core principles. Oremus omnes et pro invicem. Jackson of Piccadilly scripsit.

  112. John McFarland11:46 PM

    David and Russell,

    Perhaps one of you is right about Bishop Williamson, but it's not because (unless you can read minds) you have any evidence. Nothing he has said or written supports any it.

    I would say the same thing about Russell's attack on Bishop Fellay.
    That people can keep styling him a sell-out or prospective sellout without anything remotely resembling evidence leads me less to indignation than slack-jawed stupefaction.

  113. @John: So to say that Rome is not the "real" Rome but some "fake" Rome and denying even the possibility of any sort of agreement between the Holy See and the SSPX is not indicative of a schismatic attitude? Well, that's just plain blindness...

  114. I 6hink it a blessing not to be able to read minds but God has given me hearing and from time to time he succeeds in encouraging me to listen. From that listening I am led to my judgement of Bp Williamson, whom God bless and preserve to His greater glory and our better wayfaring in this valley of tears. Bp Fellay saddens me and his henchmen frighten me. I find them distasteful and suspect. Bp Fellay is their earthly master and is vicariously responsible for their acts and their consequences. Birds of a feather flock together. If his entourage represent him badly or, indeed, falsely he can always indicate as much simply and clearly by distancing himself from them and repudiating them. If not, the doctrine of vicarious responsibility prevails and Bp Fellay can only be seen as being in perfect harmony with them. Qui tacet consentire videtur. Agere sequitur esse. Jackson of Piccadilly scripsit.

  115. Anonymous12:35 PM

    Mr. Mc Farland, You mention the "Feeneyites" in the usual perjorative way but you misrepresent what Fr. Feeney defended. No one can ever prove Fr. wrong because the Church does and must teach the dogma as it is written. If there is a "B of D" it must of necessity be implicit and, therefore, known only to God. Presently, "Bof D" is being used as an excuse to deny a dogma.

  116. John McFarland8:54 PM


    What I am saying is that the Holy Father and virtually the entire episcopate is teaching a deficient and adulterated caricature of the true Faith.

    No doubt you consider this a scandalous statement.

    But the truly scandalous thing is that this statement is true.

    It follows that if you follow the lead of what is traditionally called the Teaching Church (the rest of us being the Learning Church), you are being led into error.

    There can be no "deal" with Rome unless the Teaching Church again teaches the complete and unadulterated Faith that was given once for all to the saints.

    The Church remains because the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. Christ is the Head, and the members are those who are baptized, believe the Faith, and accept the authority of the hierarchy.

    Since none of us can read minds, and we are enjoined to judge not, lest we be judged, the only prudent course is to obey those holding authority in the Church, except when obedience requires us to do what it wrong; and meanwhile to seek out those means that will enable us to protect our Faith.

    We must not fall into the damnable sucker game famously epitomized by Archbishop Lefebvre: from obedience to apostasy.

    Our shepherds are by and large hirelings, and must be dealt with accordingly. The salvation of souls is the supreme law, and no authority can be permitted to break that law.

  117. Anonymous2:05 AM

    Mr. Mc Farland said: "We must not fall into the damnable sucker game famously epitomized by Archbishop Lefebvre: from obedience to apostasy." Whatever might be meant by that statement, it is true that Msgr. Lefebvre was cautioned to meet Rome on the bedrock battlefield of dogma, namely EENS, and not, as he unfortunately, ultimately, chose, the shifting sands of discipline, i.e. Liturgy. Fr. Feeney stood on the bedrock of dogma and only the treachery of the hirelings have allowed this present, unseemly, ecumenism to persist. Dogmas come first, not liturgies.


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