Rorate Caeli

Open letter to Bishop Fellay

Your Excellency, dear Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X,

No, dear Monseigneur, this is not another one of those letters that create expectations - how could I, in this humble blog? No, this is to tell you in writing (which is at times easier...) what I would like to tell you in person: that for so many years, even before being received into the Church, I have prayed for you daily, for your Priestly Fraternity, for its welfare under the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

This is also to thank you for what the Society has accomplished, for the great care and attention, for the charity displayed, for the graces dispensed by your Priests. This is to acknowledge your simplicity and care for those, priests, seminarians, and faithful, under your watch.

Such things are well known by good souls in Rome, but many Catholic faithful around the world ignore them. But how could I, or any Traditional Catholic, ignore them, as a matter of justice? Justice is the key word; justice demands reparation; sooner or later, there must be justice - "justice, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans xiv, 17).

Most sincerely, and with renewed wishes of a joyful Eastertide, under the protection of the Queen of Heaven.


Jacob said...

New Catholic, I don't understand the post to the SSPX. I am in a FSSP parish so I am not up on the latest news with the SSPX, could you give us some more detail? Thanks so much and God bless

Cruise the Groove. said...

Who penned these beautiful comments?

New Catholic said...

I have the deepest of loves for the FSSP, Jacob, as I have repeatedly expressed here.

There is a season for all things.
Mea culpa, Cruise.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Long-Skirts said...

New Catholic said:

"There is a season for all things."

Beautiful words, dear New Catholic, yes, this is the season to now watch and pray.

A Blessed Easter to all!

Long-Skirts said...

New Catholic said:

"...for the great care and attention, for the charity displayed, for the graces dispensed by your Priests. This is to acknowledge your simplicity and care for those, priests, seminarians, and faithful, under your watch."


Weary weary
On this earth
Shielding souls
Beyond their worth.

Few are grateful
Some regress
Others proud
They won't confess

When the waves
Break on the shore
Warning them
What is before.

You stand on this rock
'Gainst the gales
'Fore those who mock

Facing squalls
They cannot see
But all behold
Your bended knee.

Few will follow
Some deny
They won't comply.

Then a blue moon
Saffron sun
Come together
Almost one.

Fingers blessed
With Holy Oil
You lift the Light…
Sun moon recoil

Blinding many
Opening eyes
Most despise

But on this rock
You stand your ground
Opposing strife.

Between the storms
And sheep you block
The tempest winds
That hurt the flock

With outstretched arms
The daily crux
You nail the Truth
So not in flux

Never will lie
Only can free
Upon this rock

victoria said...

I add my sentiments to the person who wrote the article. I too appreciate and thank the Society for being there for us in the midst of confusion. God alone knows all that the Society has endured, all the weary travel the priests have willingly undertaken in order to dispense the sacraments and offer the Mass for the faithful. We are forever grateful. Thank you.

Sperans in Domino said...

Tantalising! Anyhow, I just hope and pray good Bishop Fellay will do the right thing before the end of the week.

Andrew said...

A very nice letter. I just pray that the division can be healed and the SSPX finally comes into full communion. We need their witness to Tradition. Liberals have wisely used the Church's structures to get their way; and they have been effective. We must learn from them. The SSPX has accomplished all it can outside the Church's structures. We now need them in the Church to help effect the change we need.

Jim said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. May God bless you! As for Bishop Fellay, I am ready to accept whatever he decides to do. I trust him as I always trusted His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Fiat voluntas tua.

MaxMuxings said...

This is a beautiful letter, and it well express my own humble prayers for the well being of Bishop Fellay, and the SSPX.

Many thanks to Long Skirts for her wonderful poem.

Awestruck said...

While I do not affiliate with an SSPX chapel, I see the brilliant witness that they have come to represent. I probably cannot begin to imagine what they have been subjected to during the past 40 years.

God bless Bishop Fellay and all who have any association with SSPX. And God bless Archbishop Lefebrve.

Adfero said...

NB: No one trying to comment anonymously will get through. Please rend the instructions above the comments box carefully.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear N.C. Well written and reflective of a kind soul. I am delighted to respond - Amen.

Over the past decade my love of and respect for The SSPX has deepened and grown.

Mike said...

Let's hope and pray that unity is achieved, that God's will and his Vicar's will, is done.

I have never been to an SSPX chapel, or service, or donated money to their apostolate, but once they are in accord with Rome, that would change.

More importantly, they do have my prayers. Mother Church needs them, badly.

PEH said...

Amen and Alleluia. May the Holy Spirit guide the outcome of these final days between the SSPX and Rome.

Prof. Basto said...

Happy Easter, New Catholic.

Happy Easter, you members of the Rorate Caeli team.

As for the SSPX, I have had no personal contact with any member, but I do pray, and hope, for the desired reconciliation.

Years ago, I had a harder opinion about them, but back then they too seemed to have a more hardened stance: they often seemed ready to say that Rome had left the Church (even Mons Lefebvre, who I now comprehend and appreciate as a giant, sometimes indulged in exaggerated expressions that caused scandal, such as when he said of the Holy See: "Rome has lost the faith"/"They have left the Church"). Until not many years ago, the SSPX often seemed ready to pass judgement on the orthodoxy of Rome, as if the Society was the custodian of the Faith, and the gates of hell could prevail over Rome.

Once that heated and offensive discorse subsided (and help came from Rome to achieve that goal in the form of the remission of the excommunications), I was more able to appreciate the SSPX in their daily work, in their chapels, etc, etc. I was then more able to realize what a great treasure to the sacred cause of tradition their regularization would be.

Now I can admit that indeed the injustices under which they labored may indeed have seemed as constituting just cause for their actions, and I even appreciate the plausibility of they "state of necessity" argument, considering the rampant state of liturgical abuses, heresy and apostasy that emanates on the part of prelates that are in formal full Communion. The recent Rorate article about the spiritist Bishop of São Carlos, Brazil and his attack on Tradition and on tradtionalists is just a case in point.

To one that was born and raised in an era of tradtionalism, in an environment of orthodoxy, and that was faithful to the values of tradition, the shock provoked by the sea of heretic novelty must have been immense, warranting the reactions of the Archbishop, and of his followers.

I just pray, therefore, that justice be done, that the cause of tradition may be strengthened, that the rift between Rome and the SSPX may be healed, for the good of the Church universal. And it is my firm Hope that the reconciliation that is now at hand may be achieved.

Patrick Langan said...

I agree totaly with the sentiments expressed in this post.I have prayed sincerely both before and throughout Lent and this blessed Easter period for Gods will to be done. We are now utterly in Gods hands and in faith, hope and charity pray for his will to be done! maybe selfishly NOW! Praise be to God. Deo Gratias

NIANTIC said...

May I add my agreement with the sentiments expressed in your letter to Bishop Fellay and the SSPX. I deeply admire her priests and bishops who travel week after week faithfully under all sorts of conditions and modes to bring Holy Mass, the Faith and Sacraments to the people. What zeal and love they express for Our Lord and His Catholic Church. True sons of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
Each one a living Saint.
My daily prayers and thanks go with the SSPX and if you were close by I would be attending your Masses. My daughter and her family in Oregon are blessed to have a SSPX Chapel not far away. However I am very much blessed in having the Traditional Mass available in my Diocese by a few very faithful priests. Deo gratias!

juan del lobo said...

The way that letter was written is beautiful. Such prose!

Brian said...

Justice is the key word; justice demands reparation; sooner or later, there must be justice

I pray that, very soon, justice and reparation will be granted to the SSPX.

Woody said...

I add my own entire agreement with the sentiments expressed by NC, non-Spart and others here. My own experience of the SSPX here in Houston has always been very positive, and I have found the priests of the Society always to be very charitable and focused on saving souls. I was in fact quite surprised to discover how they are like missionaries to the interior, and not at all like so many "conservatives" that we all know, circling the wagons and firing at anything outside the perimeter (come to think of it, just like we used to do back in the day, in the late Republic [RVN, for you youngsters]).

I earnestly pray for a regularisation.

A Happy Easter to all.

DM Reed said...

Yes, there is a season for all things. The April 15th deadline is fast approaching!

Christ is Risen! said...

To NC: Your prayers are not in vain! We all must continue to pray that they will be regularized for the good of the Church and the salvation of souls.

savio said...

Recently His Lordship Bishop Fellay requested that we pray “That the Divine Will may be done, and it alone.”

Knight of Malta said...

Humility is the operative word; on both sides. Let there be a coming together through humility.

Philosophically, morally, and theologically, I am aligned with the SSPX. But Rome is my true home; not Econe.

I only occasionally go to SSPX Chapels, which I find beautiful, but usually go to the Novus Ordo, which I find banal (such is my situation).

A full regularization might convince my wife and five children to go full-time to a SSPX Chapel (believe me, I wish I had more sway over this issue--long story).

Long story short, I wish for regularization with the ardency of passion. SSPX may not find a more opportune time than now. But that doesn't mean they should compromise their core beliefs; but, also, they shouldn't be recalcitrant where compromise is possible--even if it's in compromise of verbiage only.

I agree with New Catholic that untold good has been planted, grown, and harvested through SSPX. No SSPX, no Summorum Pontificum and no FSSP, period. SSPX has already planted seeds which are harvesting. I too pray for them, amongst whom I call my friends (and I, too, donate to them both in their chapels and through Angelus Press, which everyone reading this should go to to purchase wonderful, fully orthodox titles--I am currently reading "One Hundred Years of Modernism," which is somewhat academic, but very well written and researched.)

But, in closing, I would just add: imagine what the SSPX could do for the Church fully integrated into the Church!?

Allan said...

I attended Easter Vigil services at an SSPX Church, and it was - quite literally - awesome. I visited because I have been engaged in a discernment process as whether to formally become a parishioner of the Society, and feel ready to take this step. My decision would be irrespective of the outcome of the current dialogue. Thoughts or advice from readers would be read and appreciated.

Thank you also for your beautiful letter which reflects my own sentiments and quiet respect.

Gregorian Mass said...

Echoes the sentiments of so many....We want them inside the structures of the Church.

Gratias said...

Andrew said "Liberals have wisely used the Church's structures to get their way; and they have been effective. We must learn from them." Verbum sapientae (wise words).

Never met an SSPXer personally, but have prayed for this happy reunion, as requested by Bp. Fellay. It would be a wonderful way of keeping tradition in the Church.

Matt said...

Wonderful. I sign on to that letter also.

Yes, April 15 is just around the corner. I, too, pray for a happy outcome to this discord. As with everyone else's sentiments, the SSPX needs to be back in the Church. We need the SSPX back in the Church and with an Ordinarite.

In my way of thinking, an ordinariate is an imperative. They need it to be free from the interference and caprice of locals bishops or parish pastors. Without an ordinariate, the SSPX would be fighting this war all over again and this "back in the Church" deadline thing would be just a sham.

All my prayers for a successful reunion. Domine fiat voluntas Tua.


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

I want the SSPX precisely where it can do the most good. At this time that may not be within "the structures of the Church," where its priests will be tiny drops of ink in an anonymizing ocean. Benedict offers them a fig leaf of tolerance -- the theologian who wrote "Introduction to Christianity" cannot be counted on for more than that. And his collegial minions are far less accomodating. Why should anyone think that "regularization" would change any of that?

And when Benedict is gone, what will stop his successor, and HIS collegial minions, from turning the screw?

Even on this blog, I can sense people responding emotionally to the maypole music of the aggiornamento, as piped by such as Msgr Bux recently. As one who has seen this type of inebriation before, I urge these people to restrain themselves.

Mike said...

I understand the hesitations of those pro-SSPX people who don't want a half-hearted accord that will leave the SSPX vulnerable to Church leaders who are loons.

Sed Contra: being w/o faculties, not being in full accord with the Successor of Peter, is no trifling detail or legalism. The "structures of the Church" are willed by Our Lord himself, in their core, and even as Tradition has developed them.

Now, don't tell me I am endorsing everything that comes out of a bishop's mouth by writing this.

We are Roman Catholics.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

How does one 'formally become an SSPX parishioner'? I have yet to do this, though I've attended their churches for the past year or so and am known.

Also NC the letter is beautiful, I am his grace much appreciates them.

Elizabeth D said...

Allan, after they are regularized I think attending a SSPX chapel would be a terrific choice. But until their priests have faculties and exercise their ministry licitly, I think Catholics should not join a SSPX community but keep alive the whole strength of the desire for their full Communion with the Church, where they can do the most good.

Skeptico said...

We see yet another "full communion" comment. Why will you not correct these people? And why won't you post comments which point out this nonsense, while simultaneously allowing multiple comments which spout this nonsense? Won't you at least point them to this:

Are you going to dodge this yet again? Are you really selling out?

JM said...

"Benedict offers them a fig leaf of tolerance -- the theologian who wrote "Introduction to Christianity" cannot be counted on for more than that. And his collegial minions are far less accomodating. Why should anyone think that "regularization" would change any of that?"

Wisdom that.

Tom said...

"Never met an SSPXer personally..."

After decades of having read SSPX publications and following Rome-SSPX developments, I had not met Catholics, at least knowingly, who had attached themselves to SSPX chapels.

That situation changed last year.

I work at a restaurant that caters to Middle Eastern Catholics and Moslems.

At the restaurant, at least as women are concerend, the Catholic women tend to dress immodestly.

Moslem women who frequent the restaurant tend to dress modestly.

I had met two young women whom, based upon their manner of dress, I had believed were Moslem.

That changed when I heared the two women pray in Latin when they received their food.

I conversed later with the two young women.

They assisted at Mass at an SSPX chapel.

They are, as far as I know, the only Catholics I have met who assist at an SSPX chapel.

The modesty, knowledge of Catholic Tradition and holiness that flowed from the two young women in question lifted my spirit.

If they are typical of the kind of faith formation that Catholics receive via the Society of Saint Pius X, then I hope and pray that the Society's work spreads among Catholics.


Peterman said...

Forgive my ignorance here but I'm curious if the SSPX is regularized and with it's own Ordinariate, what does this do to the FSSP's mission?

I could imagine the two merging to quickly form a large, powerful group within the Church that would have their own Bishops, and could do baptisms, First Communion, and Weddings in the traditional rite without being shut down by a local control freak Bishop. I can hope anyway.

Mike said...


Well, what part of "without faculties" don't you understand?

St. Gemma's little friend said...

"Veni Sancte Spiritus" . . .with deepest appreciation for the docility of the "New Catholic" for putting his fingers to the task of expressing his gratitude, I humbly add the next words from Heaven.

May the ineffably privileged faithful and true servant, H.E. Bishop Fellay, humble himself before the Divine Majesty - Our Triumphant Lord. There, prostrate in soul and body, may Our Eternal King reveal to him the Will of the Holy Trinity, evoking and sustaining His servant's "Fiat".

Such a miracle of humility is contingent upon our own "Fiats" which are the means Divine Justice requires for the Merciful Triumph the Holy Trinity desires and deserves. We are assured that Our Queen and Mother with St. Joseph intercede while we plead for Bishop Fellay's precise docility and that of the Holy Father's. How much more degredation, confusion and suffering of society must occur prior to Our Eternal Father's justice preeminantly taking charge with Omnipotence instead of His docile sons employing the leadership He raised them to for the instruction, correction and guidance of ALL the souls He has created?

Picard said...

Thank´s NC - and a happy Easter to you, all the Rorate-team and each poster here.

I love this Rorate "family" and the work you and your team does - thank you for this work and for the platform here!

CHRistus surrexit!

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

We see it all the time, and yammer about it on this blog (and others) all the time:

(1) seminaries in which young men are actively discouraged from learning the TLM; in which teachers are warned to keep their trad and TLM sympathies strictly to themselves, lest they be tossed out with the garbage.

(2) diocese in which leaders snarkily write off those who desire the TLM as a claque, a handful of obstinate dinosaurs, who will soon die out, thankfully, and who on that basis throw their weight around with priests who might be considering learning it (which Benedict says they have a perfect right to do)

(3) diocese in which the idea of an all-TLM parish is treated with as much enthusiasm as that of a flesh-eating virus

(4) priests who are made to say the TLM because they are among the few who know any Latin, and who openly disparage it and warn that it will lead to "dissension"

How many more bullet points does anyone need?

These are all fully "regularized" situations. What awaits SSPX priests and bishops following their "regularization"? The same and worse.

Francis said...

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

Dear New Catholic,

Thank you very much for publishing your Open Letter. It is so impressive and moving, I am sure Mgr Fellay will be happy to read it, it says so much, in a most courteous and Catholic manner.

May I add to the confusion of some other posts here ?

1. A person does not “formally become an SSPX parishioner” There is no such being. The priests and the holders of the minor clerical orders are inducted (if that is the correct word) into the priestly society and lay brothers (the sisters too of course) also belong, I am not sure of the mechanisms. Those who attend Masses and Benedictions and the saying of the Holy Office in SSPX churches, chapels and Mass Centres are not “members of the SSPX”, or “SSPXers”, they simply attend or “assist” - as the French are wont to say - at these essentially Catholic forms of worship. No forms are needed, no approvals, no joining fee, no subscriptions, just the same as any other Catholic church as a matter of fact. No labels required.

2. There is no “ultimatum”. I say again “There is no ultimatum” and I very much doubt Mgr Fellay would accept the imposition of an ultimatum.

3. The term “Lefebvrian” or “Lefefebvrist/e” and similar expressions are made-up words, stimulated perhaps, by a (lazy) desire to classify and stereotype Catholics into convenient files.

4. The “excommunications” of the four SSPX bishops were not arrived at by following due Canonical Law process. This means, to my non-legal brain, that they were always wholly invalid, because justice (due process) was denied them.

5. The mention of Mgr Williamson, whatever anyone’s personal opinion of him, is quite irrelevant and a distraction. He is a full member of the SSPX, as far as I have read, in good standing therefore, so bringing him into the already over-complicated discussion adds zero to an understanding of the situation.

6. And finally, my own opinion of the equally completely invalid “excommunication” of Mgr Marcel Lefebvre is that it must be revoked (if that is the correct word) as soon as possible - celeriter. Without his noble and uncompromising, valiantly Catholic fight to restore all things Catholic, the various indults (not needed) and Summorum Pontificum (late, late, late) would never have seen the light of day - who can doubt that ? And how is it that I knew, many years ago, that the Tridentine Mass (the Old Rite) had never been banned, ever, because it may not be banned and that countless bishops and princes of the Church “did not know it wasn’t banned” ? I could say more, but it would only exacerbate the already confused situation.