Rorate Caeli

Letter of the General Council of the Society of Saint Pius X

The following is a translation of the internal letter sent by Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX /SSPX), and the other two members of the General Council, First Assistant Fr. Niklaus Pfluger and Second Assistant Fr. Alain-Marc Nély, on April 14, 2012 - we have received implicit consent from competent source to make it public. We vouch for the authenticity of the letter and the French text from which the following accurate translation is derived.



Menzingen, April 14, 2012 

The Most Reverend Tissier de Mallerais, Williamson, and de Galarreta 

       Your Excellencies, 

    Your collective letter addressed to the members of the General Council received our full attention. We thank you for your solicitude and charity. Allow us in our turn, with the same concern for justice and charity, to make the following observations. 

    First of all, the letter indeed mentions the gravity of the crisis gripping the Church and precisely analyzes the nature of the ambient errors that pullulate in the Church. Nonetheless, the description is marred by two defects in relation to the reality in the Church: it is lacking in a supernatural spirit and at the same time it lacks realism. 

    The description lacks a supernatural spirit. To read your letter, one seriously wonders if you still believe that the visible Church whose seat is at Rome is indeed the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a Church horribly disfigured, to be sure, a planta pedis usque ad verticem capitis, but a Church that in spite of all still has as its head Our Lord Jesus Christ. One gets the impression that you have been so scandalized that you no longer accept that it can still be the true Church. For you, it would seem to be a question whether Benedict XVI is still the legitimate pope. And if he is, there is a question as to whether Jesus Christ can still speak through him. If the pope expresses a legitimate will concerning us which is good and which does not order anything contrary to the commandments of God, have we the right to neglect or to dismiss this will? Otherwise, on what principle do you base your actions? Do you not believe that if Our Lord commands us, He will also give us the means to carry on our work? Now, the pope has let us know that an abiding concern for the regularization of our situation for the good of the Church lies at the very heart of his pontificate, and also that he knew very well that it would be easier both for him and for us to leave things as they stand now. And so it is indeed a decided and legitimate will that he is expressing. 

    With the attitude you recommend, no room is left for the Gideons or the Davids or for those who count on the Lord’s help. You reproach us with being naïve or fearful, but rather it is your vision of the Church that is too human, and even fatalistic. You see the dangers, the plots, the difficulties, but you no longer see the assistance of grace and of the Holy Ghost. If one grants that Divine Providence leads the affairs of men while safeguarding their liberty, it is also needful to admit that the gestures in our favor over the last several years are also under its guidance. Now, they trace a line   not straight  but clearly in favor of Tradition. Why should this suddenly stop when we are doing our utmost to be faithful and to intensify our prayer? Will the good God let us fall at the most critical moment? That does not make a lot of sense, especially as we are not trying to impose on Him the least self-will, but are trying to examine events closely so as to discern what God wants, and being disposed to all that shall please Him. At the same time, your description is lacking in realism as regards both the degree of the errors and their extent. 

    Degree: Within the Society, some are making the conciliar errors into super heresies, absolute evil, worse than anything, in the same way that the liberals have dogmatized this pastoral council. The evils are sufficiently dramatic; there is hardly any reason to exaggerate them further (cf. Roberto de Mattei, Une histoire jamais écrite, p. 22; Mgr. Gherardini, Un débat à ouvrir, p. 53, etc.). Needful distinctions are not being made, whereas Mgr. Lefebvre did make the necessary distinctions on the subject of liberals several times. i This failure to distinguish is leading one or the other of you to a hardening of your position. This is a grave matter because this caricature no longer corresponds with reality and in future it will logically end in a real schism. And it may well be that this fact is one of the arguments that urges me to delay no longer in responding to the Roman authorities.

    Extent: On the one hand, you saddle the current authorities with all the errors and evils to be found in the Church while leaving aside the fact that they are trying at least partly to disengage themselves from the most serious of them (the condemnation of the “hermeneutic of rupture” denounces real errors). On the other hand, you act as if ALL of them are implicated in this pertinacity (“they’re all modernists,” “all are rotten”). Now that is manifestly false. The great majority are still caught up in the movement, but not all. 

    So that, coming to the most crucial question, the possibility of our surviving in the conditions of recognition of the Society by Rome, we do not reach the same conclusion as you do. 

    Let us note in passing that it was not we who were looking for a practical agreement. That is untrue. We have not refused a priori to consider, as you ask, the Pope’s offer. For the common good of the Society, we would prefer by far the current solution of an intermediary status quo, but clearly, Rome is not going to tolerate it any longer. 

    In itself, the solution of the proposed personal prelature is not a trap. This is apparent from the fact, first of all, that the present situation in April 2012 is quite different from that of 1988. To pretend that nothing has changed is an historical error. The same evils afflict the Church, the consequences are even worse and more obvious than before; but at the same time we have observed a change of attitude in the Church, helped by the gestures and acts of Benedict XVI toward Tradition. This new movement, which began at least ten years ago, has been growing. It has reached a good number (still a minority) of young priests, seminarians, and even includes a small number of young bishops who clearly stand out from their predecessors, who confide in us their sympathy and support, but who are still pretty well stifled by the dominant line in the hierarchy in favor of Vatican II. This hierarchy is losing speed. This perception is not an illusion, and it shows that it is no longer illusory for us to contemplate an “intramural” struggle, the difficulty of which we are not unaware. I have been able to observe at Rome that however much the talk about the glories of Vatican II we’ll be dinned with is still on the lips of many, it is no longer in people’s heads. Fewer and fewer believe it. 

    This concrete situation, with the canonical solution that has been proposed, is quite different from that of 1988. And when we compare the arguments that Archbishop Lefebvre made at the time, we conclude that he would not have hesitated to accept what is being proposed to us. Let us not lose our sense of the Church, which was so strong in our venerated founder. 

    The history of the Church shows that recovery from the conflicts that beset it usually occurs gradually, slowly. And once one problem is resolved, something else starts up... oportet haereses esse. To require that we wait until everything is regulated before reaching what you call a practical agreement is not realistic. Seeing how things happen, it is likely that it will take decades for this crisis to come to an end. But to refuse to work in the field because there are still weeds that may crowd out or hamper the good grain is a curious reading of the Biblical lesson: It is our Lord Himself who gave us to understand by the parable of the wheat and the cockle that there will always be, in one form or another, weeds to be uprooted and grappled with in His Church… 

    You cannot know how your attitude these last months  quite different for each one of you  has been hard on us. It has kept the Superior General from communicating and sharing with you these weighty matters, in which he would have so willingly involved you had he not found himself before such a strong and passionate incomprehension. How he would have liked to be able to count on you, on your advice and counsel at such a delicate passage in our history. It has been a great trial, perhaps the greatest of his superiorate. Our venerated founder gave the bishops of the Society a precise function and duties. He made it clear that the unifying principle of our society is the Superior General. But for some time now, you have tried, each in his own way, to impose on him your point of view, even in the form of threats, even publically. This dialectic between truth and faith on one side and authority on the other is contrary to the spirit of the priesthood. At least he might have hoped that you would try to understand the arguments that have moved him to act as he has these last years, according to the will of Divine Providence. 

    We do pray for each one of you, that in this battle which is far from being over we may find ourselves all together for the greater glory of God and for the love of our dear Society. 

    May our Risen Lord and our Lady deign to protect you and bless you, 

+Bernard Fellay 

Niklaus Pfluger+ 

Alain-Marc Nély+ 

 i “Just because a pope is liberal does not mean he is not the pope. (…) We have to stay the course and not go astray in the difficult times we are living. We might very well be tempted by extreme solutions and start saying: “No, no, the pope is not just a liberal – the pope is a heretic! Probably the pope is even more than a heretic, and therefore there is no more pope!” That is not correct. Just because someone is liberal does not necessarily make him a heretic, and therefore it does not necessarily mean he is outside the Church. We have to know how to make the necessary distinctions. That is very important if we are going to remain on the right track and remain truly in the Church. Otherwise, where are we going to end up? There is no more pope, there are no more cardinals because if the pope was not the pope when he named the cardinals, those cardinals can no longer elect a pope because they are not cardinals… And then what? An angel from heaven is going to bring us a new pope? It is absurd! Not only absurd, but dangerous! Because it might lead us toward solutions which really are schismatic.” (Conference at Angers, 1980.) See also Fideliter 57, p. 17, concerning the proper measure.

What about the letter to which this is a response? Well, there are two problems with it. First, we did not receive any authorization, even in a most indirect or implicit way, to make it public. Second, which is quite important, the actual first letter was never truly made public - what was leaked, as we mentioned in our first post on this matter, was the PDF file generated on April 5 of the draft of the letter, dated April 7. That is, while the response letter is authentic and is a digitalization of an actual signed document, the most we can say about the first one is that its content is probably authentic. The letter itself is obviously not the exact same one that was sent (by what means?) two days later; we would not be surprised, in case an actual signed version ever appears, if the occasional word or term is different from one in the leaked PDF file. As soon as any of the parties involved is willing, even indirectly or implicitly, to consent to our use and translation of it, we will certainly post it here.


[Update - May 11, 1600 GMT - DICI]
Communiqué from the General House of the Society of Saint Pius X (May 11, 2012)

An exchange of private letters between the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X and the three other bishops was circulated on the Internet on May 9, 2012. This behavior is reprehensible. The person who breached the confidentiality of this internal correspondence committed a serious sin.

Its publication will encourage those who are fomenting division; the Society of Saint Pius X asks its priests and lay faithful not to respond except by redoubling their prayers, so that only the will of God may be done, for the good of the Church and the salvation of souls.

Menzingen, May 11, 2012

[Note: For background on the leaks, see our previous post.


  1. Wow, this letter makes me misty in the eyes. We have in Bishop Fellay much more than a glimmer of real sanctity - the old fashioned, suffering, ascetical, and burning with charity kind of sanctity. God be with him and preserve him!

  2. Lopes1:47 AM

    Very serious stuff indeed...I can't think of many other cases but this is one in which the infamous 'above my pay grade' line can apply.

  3. The time is ripe; time to come in from the cold.

    +Lefebvre would have accepted. St. Athanasius, too, came in from the cold amongst Arians, and purged; now is time to cut the vines from within.

    If not now, then when?

  4. Scott1:59 AM

    What a beautifully written and sensible letter from Bishop Fellay. Apparently this resistance from the other three bishops has been going on for many months, and I find that piece of news to be disturbing for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is disappointing that all of the bishops are not on board now that the point has been reached where a regularization might be effected.

    Secondly, it does make me wonder what exactly the other three bishops are wary of or object to. I think I get it with Bishop Williamson, but Bishop de Gallareta was a key part of the doctrinal discussions with Rome. If he's now balking, I think it important to know why. Why is there such secrecy regarding this part of the discussions when it's been a very public and noisy relationship for decades?

    I get that there are sensitive matters that don't need to be played out in public, but there ought to be more open discussion of the issues that are causing some reluctance on the part of bishops who hitherto had known of and participated in discussions with Rome whose sole aim it was effect an agreement that would bring the SSPX back on the inside.

  5. Stephen, there is a long tradition in the Church that one's superior, and even much more so the Pope, is a channel by which the Will of God is made known to us. And if the superior's commands ask nothing of us that is in contradiction to faith and morals, we obey. I think this is what Bishop Fellay and his assistants are referring to.

  6. I still cannot take out of my mind the Yoruba witch doctor at Assisi III, with his incantations, before the whole of false and diabolical religions. ´nuf said.

  7. Petrus Romanus2:07 AM

    I've read interviews of Bishops de Mallerais and Williamson for years. For a time, I attended an SSPX chapel. To me this whole reconciliation will be a bitter pill for the SSPX to swallow. They have a ghetto culture walled inward. They often suffer from paranoia and maintain positions of bitterness with zeal, but within those ranks are many pious priests and faithful who just want to live as a Catholic and pursue holiness.
    For the other bishops this will mean the little fantasy worlds they live in will have to vanish. They will have to cease using thrones and crosiers and behaving as if they have any ordinary jurisdiction. For the first time they would have to answer to someone other than friends and benefactors. That must really freak them out.
    As someone who works for restoration in the modern church I pray that they reconcile and come to our aid, but it will not in anyway be easy from a practical to spiritual level and the fact that some of the SSPX fantasies will have to come to end might prove to be too much for some.

    St Pius X,
    Pray for us.

    Petrus Romanus

  8. A beautiful letter in so many ways; filled with charity, understanding, compassion, but most of all, fatherly firmness tempered with love toward his subjects.

    Is it too much to hope that this man will be Pope someday? :)

  9. Joseph the fourth2:29 AM

    Let us pray that the other SSPX bishops will follow Bishop Fellay toward regularization.

  10. Tradical2:50 AM

    While this response is April 14th, we don't know if the sentiments (different for each) are maintained.

    One way or another we will discover.

    Regarding secrecy: Given that private correspondence has been leaked before, I'm not surprised be the +Fellay keeping the specifics of the preamble secret.

    Putting aside your generalizations and assumptions.

    The fact remains that for 50 years (ish) the faithful who have been attending the Novus Ordo have been subjected to a major shift in 'Organizational Culture' to the extent that their recognition of Catholic Teachings are impaired.

    In order to unfreeze the culture to make it once again Catholic, it might be quite painful.

    Yes, there will be some adjusting for the faithful (and members) of the SSPX, but with the regularization as discussed, it will not be as shocking as you suppose.


  11. Oh it will be shocking...

    It will be shocking for the SSPX priests. I recommend RIGHT NOW that Fellay find a few good priests who've been trying to maintain the Faith the best they know how amidst the disaster of this revolution and ask them to give briefings to Society priests regarding (among other interesting topics):

    -Episcopal corruption of the most horrifying kind

    -Episcopal warfare AGAINST any priest who tries to be truly traditional

    -The arrogance of New Rite parish lay government and "ministry types"

    -Abysmal catechesis (young New Riters are pagans in most cases)


  12. Bishop Fellay has really won my admiration these past few months. Even though I'm a NO seminarian, my heart breaks over this situation. I pray for reconciliation and regularization between SSPX and the rest of Christ's Holy Church. Can you imagine the good works that would happen with the faithful of SSPX reuniting with Rome? Oh the power!

    Please, continue to pray (as I am sure you are) for a speedy reconciliation...interesting how someone on "the other side" is pulling for you guys (as are most of my seminarian brothers). We need you, and you need us, because the Church needs to be one again.

    My prayers for you as always. AMDG!

    Ad Iesum Per Mariam,

  13. Prof. Basto3:26 AM

    The talk about the possibility of a "real schism" and that possibility being one of the factors why the Superior General is rushing to accept regularization is impressive:

    "This is a grave matter because this caricature no longer corresponds with reality and in future it will logically end in a real schism. And it may well be that this fact is one of the arguments that urges me to delay no longer in responding to the Roman authorities."

  14. Anonymous3:27 AM

    I can only offer humble prayers for Bishop Fellay. He is strong, like a lion.

  15. Petrus Romanus3:36 AM


    I mean the shock will be on those within the SSPX who will struggle with the loss of autonomy that they currently enjoy. From someone who has observed the 4 bishops with an open mind, I think this will be very hard on them and many others in the SSPX.

    The shock in the rest of the Church will be short lived. Once the headlines cease, most will not pay much attention until practical situations arise. The SSPX would be able to work and help souls and have a recognized voice in the Church.

    I made generalizations based on experience and sentiments that are echoed by many throughout the world. Toss them aside as just that and reality might as well get tossed too.

    I'm very hopeful for a regularization of the SSPX, just realize that the bishops will not like being told what to do by anyone. They have never been in such a situation before and the words and actions of at least 2 bishops along with the referenced letter make it hard to surmise there ever being a concordance with them. I believe losing autonomy to be a part of that resistance. (whether anyone ever admits that...)

    Alas, with God all things are possible.

  16. I think it is interesting in the comments that no one wonders (out loud) that three of the four men the archbishop chose to ordain as bishops think something is wrong with all of this. I think, too, that it is improper to have an internal letter like this leaked. One against this deal, but 3 of 4? Kyrie Eleison

  17. The Church will only be one again when Catholics will find it necessary to go to the Catholic Encyclopedia to find out what Protestantism is.

    Like some of us have to go there to find out what Albigensianism is.

    Of course by then there will be (our Lady forbid!) another heresy to rip us all apart.


  18. Zak, why do think any of those things would be shocking to SSPX priests or faithful? They're precisely why so many have sought a place of quiet refuge there in the first place.

  19. Ted Maysfield4:10 AM

    I have never really been a fan of Bishop Fellay, but this letter reveals a noble side to him that had escaped me in the past. He is taking a courageous leap of truly Catholic faith, supported by some important district superiors. I hope they can stay the course and reunite with Rome at long last.

  20. Brian4:13 AM

    The battlelines are drawn, how tragic, and unnecessary.

    So now, again, as in 1988, one group of Traditional Catholics will gain canonical status and another will be harshly branded as schismatic, proud, extremists; while those so branded, accuse the others of compromising and selling out.

    If the Pope wants real healing and unity, I pray our Holy Father declares the SSPX as fully Catholic, with valid and licit sacraments, without defining a canonical structure.

  21. "The Church will only be one again . . . ."

    On the contrary, "I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."

    Care to rephrase that?

    1. I agree, Jordanes. The Church is always one. Sometimes she is larger; sometimes smaller -- but always One. She cannot be divided. While there is some room for nuance, the bottom line is: You're either in the Church, or you're not.

  22. Prof. Basto4:22 AM

    This letter has many impressive points, for instance:

    "Now, the pope has let us know that an abiding concern for the regularization of our situation for the good of the Church lies at the very heart of his pontificate, and also that he knew very well that it would be easier both for him and for us to leave things as they stand now. And so it is indeed a decided and legitimate will that he is expressing. "

  23. Gratias4:59 AM

    Very unseemly to leak these important documents to the public. One of the three bishops - de Mallerais, De Galarreta or Williamson - is responsible. It is a good thing the Pope's Preamble is still private.

    Now is a good time for the SSPX priests and faithful to meditate what they will do if the three other bishops disobey their own Superior and their General Council. Hope it does not come to that and that they will obey as we all do.

    Please do not let this opportunity slip by and join the rest of us. Bishop Fellay seems to be a strong leader, as is Benedict XVI.

  24. This is a very touching letter. I was moved by the heartfelt and sussinct words of the Bishop Fellay. Truly a gripping insight. This all the more makes me hope and pray for a blessed resolution to the Society's Great Matter!

    Sadly, the rumors of the alleged in-fighting going within the Society has been confirmed. I pray the addrees of this letter are touched and have their own conversion of sorts.

    More Masses and Rosaries!


  25. unrepentant 88er5:15 AM

    Rub those misty eyes and take a fresh look at that letter again. Is everyone so bewitched as to no longer see? Ask yourselves : "Is this a superior of the SSPX or the Fraternity of Saint Peter writing these lines? It really is difficult to tell. Since when does the SSPX coo so gently to minimise the evils of Vatican II? The impression is given that Vatican II is not so bad after all, the Pope really wants the best for us and that a great revival is just around the corner.
    The three bishops are told that they are wrong in practically everything they have said about the Pope, the Church and the Society of St Pius X.
    What is astonishing in this letter is the tone : to accuse all three of a lack of supernatural spirit, loss of realism, latent sedevacantism and a schismatic mentality, all in a few lines, surely borders on the insulting. These are bishops, not school children!

  26. The real SSPX is in the right direction.

    Will there be a pseudo-SSPX heading the wrong direction? Obviously it will. Hopefully this pseudo-SSPX is very small in scale.

    I shall do some prayers and mortification for +Felay and SSPX (either the real one or the pseudo-one).

    Thank you rorate caeli

  27. Our Father's little child6:05 AM

    Christ is Eternal. Due to His ineffable charity, he became Incarnate thusly elevating our humanity. He established His Church promising that the "gates of Hell will NOT prevail against it." Matt.16:18

    Through the Apocalypse is echoed that He will rule "with a rod of iron" - unyielding fidelity to the Will of Our Father.

    The Vicar of Christ must do the Will of Our Father. H.E. Bishop Fellay must do the Will of Our Father. Bishops de Gallareta, de Mallerais and Williamson must do the Will of Our Father. AND WE TOO must do the Will of Our Father.

    The Veni Creator implores: "Oh guide our minds with Thy blessed Light, with love our hearts inflame and through all perils guide us safe beneath Thy sacred wing."

    Through Our Mother's intercession, in union with her Fiat and her Divine Son's in the Agony in the Garden, we continue to pray that we will all DO the Will of Our Father - even when the path narrows to single file.

    "Ask and it shall be given you". May the Will of the Holy Trinity be accomplished in the souls of the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay that they may then shepherd us safely to do the Will of the Holy Trinity too.

    "Veni Sancte Spiritus"

  28. This letter has the greatness and sense of a Father of the Church, somebody said. I agreed.

  29. Gratias7:10 AM

    From bp. Fellay's letter: "In itself, the solution of the proposed personal prelature is not a trap. This is apparent from the fact, first of all, that the present situation in April 2012 is quite different from that of 1988. To pretend that nothing has changed is an historical error. The same evils afflict the Church, the consequences are even worse and more obvious than before; but at the same time we have observed a change of attitude in the Church, helped by the gestures and acts of Benedict XVI toward Tradition."

    The Pope has done much to reconcile tradition. Now is the time to do it. +Fellay seems to say that the personal prelature offered is a good thing for the SSPX.

    I hope that the three bishops do not have jurisdiction in the USA. They will still join if they are obedient to the Superior that took them to the woodshed.

  30. Gratias, When you say "they will obey as we all do", what exactly do you mean by " we all do"? All the NO Bishops, religious, faithful? Each and every one? You are joking, right?

  31. "The time is ripe; time to come in from the cold."

    It is the NO church that is in the cold not the traditional movement of restoration. The Society could well remain where it is and implement its mission. Increasing numbers of Catholics can see the modernist part of the church for what it represents. No wonder congregations are down in frightening amounts. The Vatican has priests of its own now embroiled in sexual scandals. We have numerous men such as Archbishop Schonbrun who do as they please with impunity.

    There are too many pluralistic elements in the conciliar church at present to give traditional movements much room for manoeuvre. Best to wait and continue the mission from the periphery as there is no room at the centre yet for this. There is no need for all this rush and brouhaha. Patience, patience and more patience are what is required.

  32. Having personally avoided contact with our local SSPX district due to concerns with the associations and attitudes of some of its members, Bp Fellay's letter has reminded me of the values and attitudes that drew me to the Society in the first place.

    It has been distressing to see the all-too-human values of certain prelates on public display, but heartening to see that the General Superior and his Council are steering a steady course through the maelstrom.

    Archbishop Lefebvre created the Society for the Church: There can be no meaningful future for it extra muros.

    Thank God for Bp Fellay - I will pray for his intentions.

  33. We trust the Excerptos Bishop Fellay, Superior General of SSPX, and pray to him by Pope Benedict XVI, hoping that these conversations God and His Holy Church be glorified.

    We do not share with those who OPINION, individually or in groups, whether priests or not, conscious or not, promote a "wave of panic" to split the SSPX, and thus divert the faithful, leading them to murmuring, strife, libel, defamation, rash judgment, among other sins.

    We lay, we must do everything that concerns us, as laymen, primarily prayer, desire the realization of the divine will restore everything in Christ our Lord.

    Long live Christ the King (Brazil)

    PS: forgive me bad English

  34. Anonymous10:13 AM

    The letter of Bishop Fellay ist great, it is written very sensible and realistic.

    In Matthew 16,18 Jesus tells Peter
    "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    Is Jesus a liar? Should we not believe the words of Christ?

    Does the Holy Spirit left the Church? What do some expect? That the Holy Father bows his knees in Econe and apologized to the FSSPX? Do you think the Holy Father can do anything he would do if he prevails, the Brotherhood acknowledges that even though these are not the disputed texts of Vatican II and the new exhibition acknowledges. What do you want for more? Look, what you H.H. Father Schmidberger says. "So it's not primarily about our brotherhood, but for the good of the Church," To what do you some do?

    Marius Augustin, Poing, Germany

  35. "There are too many pluralistic elements in the conciliar church at present to give traditional movements much room for manoeuvre."

    In your judgment, Hugh. In your judgment.

    But if the Pope guarantees the freedom of the Society to operate, then what is the problem?

  36. Phil_NL10:27 AM

    Now this is a most hopeful letter. I've wondered on several occasions whether the SSPX would take on the ultimate question, which is the nature of the Church and therefore of the Pope as Peter. Bp. Fellay does so in the first part of the letter, and with more clarity and fillial spirit than seemed possible even a few years ago.

    It will not be easy for the SSPX to reconcile - especially not en groupe, that seems a virtual impossibility now - but the letter shows that there is fervent desire from substantial members, full well knowing the difficulties. The same can be said of His Holiness. Deo gratias.

  37. "These are bishops, not school children!"

    LOL. Then they ought to stop acting like it.

  38. GE Said

    In your judgement, of course.

    It would have to be complete freedom and beyond the authority of the ordinary hwere ever they are situated.

    This is not judgement but fact. The FSSP and Institut have not been able to act without a lot of interference and obstruction from many local bishops. This is why their operations are slowed.

    Fact GE, fact!

  39. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Leadership 101.

    God Bless Bishop Fellay.

    I don't attend SSPX masses and never have. But I really meet this Bishop one day.

  40. Looking at the host of remarks here and elsewhere, I seriously ask myslef how many commentators really know and understand the history of The SSPX; the views of its founder; have read Bishop de Mallerais' book on him; understand the situation with liberal modernism in the church and the precisde implications of a possible "personal prelature"?

  41. Oliver11:14 AM

    Before bestowing sainthood on Bp. Fellay for his conciliar ambitions, after spending most of his life spurning them, the strong wall of opposition to any pact with modern Rome raised by the formidable trio of bishops can hardly be set aside. You awaited the positions of these chosen by Lefebvre to lead .... and now you have it. The manipulations of a bureaucracy in Menzingen is hardly the last word in traditionalist reaction. It merely reminds those what they are fighting against.

  42. Historian11:14 AM

    2012 is going to be a landmark year for the Church.

  43. What a beautiful letter. Bishop Fellay is ministering to his flock, bringing them back into full communion with Peter.

    In my humble opinion the only immediate visible changes this might bring about is an increase of people attending Mass in SSPX chapels & churches. Obviously there will not be a influx of liturgically liberals, but there may be those who love the Usus Antiquior but didn't have access to it licitly.

    As I'm sure everyone here knows the Church is in a crisis (again). We now have two generations of liturgically illiterate Catholics very poorly catechised, some of whom are in near defacto schism. If you love the Church there is much work to be done to rebuild her.

  44. I don't know much of the situation but I don't understand the three bishops. What else are they waiting for? Also, Bp. Williamson would be a great addition to a lukewarm Rome. :-)

  45. Miguel11:57 AM

    Bishop Fellay is such a tremendous cleric and we all support him in what ever he decides for the sake of the SSPX. Archbishop Lefebvre chose well, wish I could say as much for the other three bishops, I think they're wearing their miters too tight and too tall. Pray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Reading Rorate Caeli one would think that the overwhelming majority of the SSPX priests are in favour of an agreement. Is this what you can unbiased journalism?

  47. Hugh,

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, many of us have been following this from the beginning. Back in the late 70's, I even corresponded regularly with a certain Fr. Sanborn in Armada (unfortunately, we know what happened to Fr. Sanborn). There has always been a tension in the Society between Archbishop Lefebvre's deep love for the Church and his desire to avoid formal schism, and appropriate behavior and reaction given the indisputable state of emergency in the Church.

    Sometimes it's hard to find the proper balance. But in a way, it's very simple: when we are asked (or commanded) by authority to do things contrary to the faith, we resist; otherwise, we obey. At this moment, Bishop Fellay judges that an agreement is for the good of souls, the Society, and the Church as a whole. I don't see a reason to question his judgment.

    I agree, his reference to a personal prelature is a bit confusing. Going strictly by the definitions of Canon Law, the Society would only be welcome in dioceses where the Ordinary accepts their presence. But on the other hand, he has indicated that the structure on offer would preserve the Society's freedom and independence, and that they could "continue as we are." This remains to be clarified. But again, I don't believe that he would agree to a structure that would put the Society in a straightjacket, or to use Archbishop Lefebvre's desription, "lock the Society up in a cage." Again, I trust his judgement. I may be proven wrong; but I don't think that will be the case.

  48. In fact, we have always been pretty suspicious of any medium that claims to be "unbiased", Br. Anthony. If we call ourselves Traditional Catholics, and this is a Traditional Catholic web log, we are obviously biased in favor of Catholic Tradition.

  49. Joseph the fourth12:21 PM

    If there is a split who gets control of the seminaries and chapels?

  50. Socorro12:33 PM

    New Catholic,

    The term tradiional was used to distinguished those who fought for their traditions and kept it and those who just begged and hoped while persecuting those who were paving your way. Now, those same "conservatives" have stolen the term traditionalists to refer to the "reform of the reform" fanatics who just want their N.O dignified. A momky in a suit is still a mommy. We, traditional, will continue to work, sweat , suffer persecusion, so that when your second reform goes south, there will be something for you to fall back on.

  51. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.

    And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying:

    [31] And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: [Luke 22:31] [Latin] [32] But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. [33] Who said to him: Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. [34] And he said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, till thou thrice deniest that thou knowest me.

    I wonder if Bishop Fellay understands the obligations of being a Catholic. Look at the past 50 years. There is nothing Catholic about Vatican 2. It leads souls straight to hell. There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. The Sacraments of Vatican 2 and the Mass of 1969 produce no grace and is actually a different religion. If it's not a different religion then what is the Society doing saying a different Mass and disobeying Benedict? Ratzinger designed Vatican 2. Benedict left the church and started a new religion. Will Bishop Fellay contnue to disobey Benedict once the Society hands over all their property. Will Society laity go to their local Novus Ordo churches and listen to their local Bishops? There is no need for the Society. We should all go to our local churches. End of story. Either Benedict is the Pope and we must do exactly what he says or he's not and we must resist error and reject their phony religion and Mass.

  52. Fr. Abraham,

    I'm wondering if you and I are reading the same letter. I see no "cooing" or minimizing of the crisis in the Church. Bishop Fellay and his assistants acknowledge it, and even note that it has become worse. But they also quite rightly point out that a reaction has developed, and is growing.

    What are the opposite of "Rose Colored Glasses"? Whatever they are called, please take yours off.

  53. Peterman12:46 PM

    Some people in this situation (it seems to me) don't pray much or have much faith in the help of our Lady. There are tens of thousands of protestant groups out there, if they wish to end up 10,001 they need to just keep on protesting.

  54. Joseph, ever since several priests and layfolk in the US departed the Society and took much property with them (causing much heartache and pain to Archbishop Lefebvre, it should be noted), the Society has ensured that all property is legally held by the Society itself. Pray God there is not a split; but if there is, the property will stay with Bishop Fellay.

  55. miguel12:54 PM

    If there is a split (I pray not) those bishops and priests are no longer are a part of the SSPX. The chapels and seminaries stay with the SSPX. If they split they split away from the authority of the Socity of Pius X.

  56. ADMAC1:03 PM

    Whilst +Fellay makes many valid observations, the somewhat patronising tone of his comments as addressed to his brother Bishops, (who at least possess equal Priestly/Episcopal dignity), is unedifying.

    Just as the SSPX have been a thorn in the side of the Official Roman Catholic Church (with it seems, some good effect) so the alleged position of the other Bishops may be seen as a thorn in the collective conscience of the SSPX, being a necessary irritation to ensure that it, the SSPX, does not lose sight of its mission as a carrier of the traditional faith!

    Meanwhile, it is of note, that +Fellays implied comments on the need for the remaining Bishops to be not inward looking. However, such an admonition is surprising, given that over a prolonged and direct association with the SSPX and its schools in particular; this writer is convinced that the Society is anything but outgoing, with little obvious evangelisation in the public square. Indeed, any regular attendee of a Society Mass Centre will be only too well aware of its complete indifference to major world events, in respect of which it would not be unreasonable to ask the faithful for prayers, or material assistance in the case of natural disasters etc. I could go on!

    It would be no exaggeration to suggest, that the laity who support the SSPX have usually found their own way to the Society through a variety of serendipitous accidents, rather than having been gathered up in the nets of the Society’s active fishers of souls! To continue the fishing analogy, one may reasonably infer that if the comments and criticisms applied to the three Bishops are correct, what responsibility does the Captain of the SSPX Trawler for Souls take for the implied mutiny of his senior crew who, it now seems are apparently misreading the navigational charts?

  57. OK, then, Socorro. Thank you.

  58. Given the large number of institutions - chapels, seminaries, religious house of a multiplicity of orders, and even of rites, an Ordinariate is the only appropriate structure. It guarantees the positive and negative rights necessary for real independence from a episcopacy at least as hostile to the SSPX as the episcopacy of England and Wales is to the Anglican Ordinariate. If just the SSPX is included in a prelature, what shall happen to her Dominicans, Carmelites, and the Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat?

  59. Connie1:10 PM

    I'm sorry all of this came out in public but I was very happy to read this letter. The lack of a "supernatural spirit" runs pretty thick in SSPX circles, particularly with the laity. They have been so use to "fending for themselves" that they have forgotten what it is like to trust in the Holy Spirit FIRST rather than trusting in themselves and their own ways. Many of them have more faith in themselves than they do in the Holy Spirit Who guides the Church.

    I would not say there is a "split" coming in the SSPX, but rather a "purging" a much needed purging of all the "closet sedevancatist" whether that be laity, priests, or bishops. It's time for them to go.

    Stand your ground Bishop Fellay. Stay strong. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you and may you always be open and willing to hear Him.

  60. Trento1:14 PM

    I do pray and hope all the 4 bishops stay united. As long as it is nothing against faith and morals and the traditional discipline, I trust Bishop Fellay to handle this, and not someone who wants to run the show just because 'i gave so and so much money for the chapel, etc'. Methinks those people actually does not believe in a hierarchical Church, even though they claim to be Traditional!

  61. Thank you Brother Anthony .....I can see you understand the situation. It is immensely complex.
    These are far from normal times in the church.......or perhaps many people just have not noticed.

    Uncle Claiborne

    have you followed this from the beginning from within? My parents and I have. Your final paragraph says everything we need to know. Thank you for sowing the seeds of doubt about personal prelature. This is one of the many significant issues three out of four of The Society bishops keep in mind.

    Many of you here seem to imagine Bishop Fellay as some absolute episcopal-type who can do as he wishes with everyone's complete compliance. If he really believes he can have the personal prelature without the consequences which usually accompany then he needs to be reminded that this may not be the case - with or without Faith. Archbishop Lefebvre was not so prepared. It is possible, therefore, that the situation has not changed that much since the 1980s.
    In the meantime, how far has the church continued down its liberal modernist road since the 1980s? generally speaking, considerably more than it had in the 1980s. And when Pope Benedict XVI dies, what next? It also appears he has little authority left to him as Pope judging by the flagrant disregard that many in the NO church have for him. This is a very disturbing aspect of the contemporary church - the almost total lack of ecclesiastical discipline.

    Many forget that Christ told His disciples to be astute as well in how they complete their earthly mission. One thing to have Faith and to be brotherly in love but it is another to hold fast to The Faith of Our Fathers and to stand up for Sacred Tradition.

  62. I hope everyone commenting on the intransigence of some SSPX members has read the "The Plot against the Church" by Maurce Pinay which was published just before Vatican II.

  63. Oliver said: "You awaited the positions of these chosen by Lefebvre to lead .... and now you have it."

    Those whom Lefebvre consecrated as bishops were never intended "to lead" the SSPX. They were consecrated in order to be sacramental vending machines, nothing more. Too many persons mistake the Society episcopal auxiliaries to be bishops in the full and true sense. They are not. They wholly lack any jurisdictional power. To claim any would make them formally schismatic. It is merely coincidental that the current Superior General--the one with elected authority over the Society--happens to also be one of those consecrated to the episcopacy by Lefebvre.

    There has been so much confusion, so much misunderstanding from so many years of ecclesial irregularity!

  64. ADMAC, he is their superior, and as such, is entitled to speak to them in firm, paternal tones. Were Fr. Schmidberger still Superior General, or another Society priest, they would be entitled by virtue of their office to do the same.

    Of course, as bishops, they are entitled to a certain amount of respect. But as Archbishop Lefebvre structured the Society, they have no authority whatsoever. But as the letter notes, they have publically challenged and in some ways undermined their Superior. Their Superior, whoever he may be, is well within his rights to fault them for this.

    The notion peddled on certain websites that Bishop Williamson is Bishop Fellay's "Senior Bishop" is nonsense. Juridically, there is no such position.

    Neither of these letters were meant for public consumption. It's unfortunate that they have become known. Someone mentioned that the situation may have changed since they were written; the three bishops expressed their opinion to their Superior, and their Superior responded. I pray that they have taken his admonitions, and his correction, to heart.

  65. Tradical1:31 PM

    The comments are at once refreshing and perplexing. Truly we live in a time of severe crisis in the Church.

    @Petrus: "... loss of autonomy ... ... who has observed the 4 bishops with an open mind,..."

    Aside from your implication that I have a 'closed' mind. One of the aspects of the letter is the autonomy which will, in essence, result in the SSPX reporting directly to the Pope. I will try to not speculate on how the Holy Father will enact the structure. It is important to understand that the SSPX has the standard reporting structure - culminating at the Superiour General. Below the level of +Fellay - not a lot will change from an organizational point of view.

    So the only thing that changes from an organizational point of view is that the SSPX will now have a direct relationship with their direct supervisor.

    What could be a bit of a culture shock is the shift from 'supplied jurisdiction' to real jurisdiction.

  66. What a wonderful and charitably Christian letter by a truly inspired and good superior.

    What Bishop Fellay say's, goes in the Society.

  67. Hugh, with all due respect, you seem to manifest the same "incomprehension" referenced in the letter.

    Please be patient. Pray, and trust in the Lord. The question of the structure still needs to be clarified. I have no reason not to trust that Bishop Fellay will do the "right thing." Neither do you.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "the inside." I have been following this situation closely since its very beginning. Our eldest two children (now adults) were confirmed by Bishop Williamson. It took me a while to finally accept the Society's argument for "supplied jurisdiction" due to the state of emergency, but after much thought and prayer, I did, and have supported them ever since.

  68. Upon re-reading this my thoughts go to the following analogy...several vice-presidents each have a different view of the solution and how to get to that solution. The president (or leader) is trying to maintain order and gain the direction and solution. The debate can be viewed by some as the end those who agree on the consensus move forward, those that don't are left in the cold.
    In my mind, the 3 of 4 expressed several different points of view and exposed their fears/concerns...the letter published was the required response that says we need your support and an answer to some of the different points of view.
    The question & what I pray for is the consensus is reached and whichever way they decide to go (4 of 4) they lock arms and march that way once they come out of the boardroom.
    BTW - this now helps explains H.E. Williamson's latest latest Kyrie Eleison letter.

  69. There was always going to be a split within the Society. Every year that the situation of irregular communion exists the percentage of SSPX faithful and clergy who will become truly schismatic grows--especially amongst those who have grown up knowing nothing other than the Society.

  70. Lefebvre would have accepted a Personal Prelature. When he started the SSPX, it was formed under the local jurisdiction of the Bishop. It was always his intent to remain under jurisdiction. He conceived of it as an organization that would gradually grow over time. It did so, but for a long time, outside the jurisdiction of the Bishop.

    Now the practical problem is how to reconcile restoring jurisdiction while dealing with chapels all over the place. I would think the idea of "peronal prelature" has been modified in some sense, since these are actual practical problems.

    With that said, the idea that the SSPX would ever even be led by a Bishop was foreign to Lefebvre. He ordained them without jurisdiction and just for the purpose of mainting the Sacraments, and the original Superior General of the SSPX was intentionally just a Priest.

  71. I do not know Bishop Fellay, and I am not familiar with his writings. But I am familiar with the Holy Spirit, having been confirmed in the Catholic faith, and having been praying a novena to the Holy Spirit for the strengthening of Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay during this time of reconciliation. So I can tell you that I recognize the Holy Spirit in what Bishop Fellay has written here, the way one recognizes a member of his own family. MEMORARE, O piissima Virgo Maria...

  72. James I. McAuley2:09 PM

    New Catholic,

    Thank you for publishing this. This letter is beautiful, and I would love Bishop Fellay to be my Bishop.

    It is interesting to see the exact spirit that this letter addresses coming out in these comments -- Regrettably, some folks are crypto sedevacantists -- others seem to believe they are the pure remnant and that the gates of hell have (or will) prevail against the Bishop of Rome. A so called pure Church not in communion with Peter will inevitably fade like the Donatists, or fall into heresy.

    Yet, amidst all this doom and gloom we also see many traditionalists commenting who have never forgot they are traditionalists in communion with the actual Bishop of Rome, Peter's successor, not the fantasy, hypothetical bishop (or,absence of) of "eternal Rome." To this group of Traditionalists, I say, we want you, we need you. If this personal prelature comes about, I would be happy this summer to make a two+ hour trip to my local SSPX parish for mass to express fraternity and unity.

    Will there be bumps and bruises in a personal prelature? I am sure there will, but let us not make the perfect the enemy of the Good. When the good news finally comes out, I have a bottle of Chimay (a Trappist ale) to celebrate. Now, we just need some tradtionalist monks to brew beer!

  73. Marty Jude2:33 PM

    Pioquinto said...

    "I still cannot take out of my mind the Yoruba witch doctor at Assisi III, with his incantations, before the whole of false and diabolical religions. ´nuf said. "

    Dear Pioquinto, please could you elaborate? I have previously attempted to 'search' for information and videos on the web re Assisi III, but not found anything. Any info would be gratefully received [from anyone on here]. Even the SSPX don't seem to have commented specifically [or again, I haven't seen anything.

    Many thanks n God bless.

    It is very worrying re the behaviours of the 3 Bishops...Domine, fiat voluntas Tua.

  74. Stella Maris2:34 PM

    Prayer and penance - a sign of goodwill. These are what is needed from all of us. God bless Bishop Fellay

  75. Stella Maris2:35 PM

    Prayer and penance - a sign of goodwill. These are what is needed from all of us. God bless Bishop Fellay

  76. Uncle Claibourne, many thanks. Well said, perfect context, completely understandable.

  77. Can I also recommend the reading of the homilies of St. John Chrysostom which can be downloaded very inexpensively on Kindle.

  78. NIANTIC2:47 PM

    I attend a Diocesan Traditional Mass exclusively as there is no SSPX Chapel close by. However I have been deeply impressed by Bishop Fellay for several years and sort of consider him to be "my spiritual" Bishop. I also support the Society financially especially her Seminary. I totally trust Bishop Fellay and am convinced that he asks for, and receives, the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I always believed that the Church desperately needs the Society and obviously according to God's design both our Pope Benedict XVl and Bishop Fellay hearken to His voice. Laudetur Iesus Christus!

  79. Anonymous3:09 PM

    This response to some comments made by cincikid11 is coming 2 hours later, but better late than never.

    cincikid11 said...

    "There is nothing Catholic about Vatican 2. It leads souls straight to hell."

    So why then did Archbishop Lefebvre cite the Council's document on the formation of seminarians in the SSPX's very own "Statutes"?!!

    Also, the Archbishop did sign all the documents but two (DH and GS), even if "with reservations" on some.

    Lastly, is the proclamation of the BVM as "Mother of the Church" evil?

    "Will Bishop Fellay contnue to disobey Benedict once the Society hands over all their property."

    This accusation shows an utter ignorance of how church property is administered. For instance, the Vatican does not have holdings in diocesan properties, or those owned by religious orders (e.g., Benedictines).

    The same would also be true for the SSPX - who would not be ordered to "turn over their properties" to the local diocese, liberal Jesuits or even NOW.

  80. Hugh
    It also appears he has little authority left to him as Pope judging by the flagrant disregard that many in the NO church have for him. This is a very disturbing aspect of the contemporary church - the almost total lack of ecclesiastical discipline.

    Pot meets kettle.

    You criticize the Pope "lacks of authority" while seemingly supporting the three bishop defiance of +Fellay.

    If regularization happens and some member of the SSPX depart, this time they will have no excuse, they will be in schism, they will be outside the Church.

    EENS applies to every living souls. Including the SSPX.

    There's only one Church with one shepard.

    There is NOT one "eternal Church" and one "current Church." That would be TWO churches.

    Be in that one Church, or perish.

  81. Marty Jude3:28 PM

    Oliver said...
    "Before bestowing sainthood on Bp. Fellay for his conciliar ambitions, after spending most of his life spurning them, the strong wall of opposition to any pact with modern Rome raised by the formidable trio of bishops can hardly be set aside. You awaited the positions of these chosen by Lefebvre to lead .... and now you have it. The manipulations of a bureaucracy in Menzingen is hardly the last word in traditionalist reaction. It merely reminds those what they are fighting against."

    Dear Oliver, the Archbishop did not choose the bishops 'to lead'...their role was defined as purely functional, without jurisdiction - to provide the sacraments around the world for the membership and laity of the SSPX [Holy Orders, Confirmation etc]. Their role was not to 'lead', or else the Archbishop and Bishop Meyer would have led the Society into direct schism.

    I'm not saying the bishops are without influence, but, Bishop Fellay is incidentally the Superior General - as voted twice now by the Priestly membership. It could be Fr Morgan, UK [God forbid] or Fr Black, Australia for instance.

    If it's God's Will, then Bishop Fellay, as Superior General will lead the Society into formal agreements of whatever kind mutually agreed. That's his job! The next Pope may be even more Modernist than JPII and therefore a great opportunity lost for Holy Church.

  82. Matthew Rose4:04 PM

    Mr. Hoag,

    You wrote:
    "They wholly lack any jurisdictional power. To claim any would make them formally schismatic."

    So, just to clarify, you are implicitly accusing +de Mallerias, +de Gallareta, & +Williamson of being formally schismatic because they use Thrones & Croizers. Correct?

  83. Anonymous4:07 PM

    Who "leaked" this letter? Or was it addressed to you? I guess it's the red hat...

  84. Hello cincikid,

    Look at the past 50 years. There is nothing Catholic about Vatican 2. It leads souls straight to hell. There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.

    Nothing? Noting Catholic at all? Not even the reaffirmations of the teachings of past councils and popes? Not one bit of it?

    What are we to make of a Catholic Church that could bring together nearly all of its bishops throughout the world, and produce a series of documents that are 100% anti-Catholic?

    We all realize that there are some deeply problematic assertions in the Conciliar documents - some even designedly so, especially in their ambiguity - and that they have been employed to authorize evil acts entailing vast damage to the Church and shipwreck of many souls. But that is quite different than saying that the Church held a Council which produced teachings that are 100% against the faith.

    The Sacraments of Vatican 2 and the Mass of 1969 produce no grace and is actually a different religion.

    And again: We are to believe that a Pope has authorized, and virtually all bishops in communion with him implemented, a mass not merely theologically impoverished and even deformed (as I believe) but which is false, which produces absolutely no sacramental grace, that promotes a completely different religion, for 99.9+% of all Catholics attending it throughout the world for 42 years, no matter how reverently and faithfully celebrated?

    This sounds to me like the gates of hell *have* prevailed against the Church.

    How this doesn't amount to sedevacantism is a mystery to me. More to the point, I am left to wonder why, if this is all true, we should any longer believe in the truth of the Catholic faith.

  85. The letter was leaked by an unknown UK source who posted it, along with another document and its translation, on the Cathinfo forum - see our previous post.

    Over 36 hours later, since leaks are facts that cannot be undone, we posted this translation, with the consent mentioned in the introduction to the text.

    I have no idea what "red hat" refers to in this context.

  86. lucas4:25 PM

    The communique from the general house was frankly speaking totally ridicalous. What exactly does it accuse the leaker of doing? Informing the faithful of something we already knew? Namely the deep divisions in the society, and who is to say the faithful don't have a right to know more? This secrecy does not become the society, as a priest said to me recently 'Why is the profession of faith being kept secret? If it is what we have always believed what is to keep secret? And if it is not how are we to believe something we do not know about?'

  87. Marty Jude,

    Look here for John Vennari's report on Assisi III.

  88. Trento4:40 PM

    My guess is the the 'red hat' is the crypto-sedevacantist faction's label for Bp Fellay, who they think will get a red hat after 'selling out' the Society. But getting a red hat in itself is not a bad thing though, at least I think Bishop Fellay is way better as a cardinal than the likes of spineless Wuerl and Schonborn!

  89. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but I think there is a clear distinction between voicing opposition to an agreement prior to reaching such an agreement, and separating oneself from the Society should an agreement come to pass.

    -Johannes de Silentio

  90. cincikid11,

    It's all well and good to criticize Vatican II and its implementation (or in many cases implementation of exactly the opposite of Vatican II).

    But if your criticism of Vatican II causes you to deny Vatican I, you've already denied the heart of the Catholic faith. The only honest thing such Traditionalist can do in that case is to become Eastern Orthodox. Sedevacantism is simply not logically consistent.

  91. Tradical5:33 PM

    "...general house was frankly ... ridicalous. What exactly does it accuse the leaker of doing?..."

    Odd, it would appear that you didn't read the communique:

    a. breached the confidentiality of this internal correspondence
    b. committed a serious sin. because it appears to seek to " ... encourage those who are fomenting division ..."

    I think people need to realize two important things:

    What Traditionalist are fighting:


    - and -


    We are fighting against neo-modernism.

    We are fighting for the Church.

    At some point a "beach-head" has to be made.

    In God's Divine Providence, +Fellay's conclusion is that now is the time.

  92. Anonymous5:37 PM

    If a pope denies Jesus Christ, he is not the pope. I don't think Peter and John went to hell because they proclaimed the name of Jesus instead of following Caiaphas' wishes. Don't think St. Stephen did either. On the other hand, I do believe Wuerl, Schonborn, Ratzinger (& their confreres Pelosi, Cuomo, Kennedy, Sebelius, O'Malley, Mikulski, ad nauseam (like Caiaphas' confrere Herod)) will be w/Caiaphas.

  93. Tradical5:37 PM

    As a quick note for those who are assuming the +Williamson will 'leave' the SSPX in the event of regularization.

    During one particularly trying period where an SSPX priest 'lost it', the district superiour mentioned: You'll be surprised by who goes and by who stays.

    He was right!!!

  94. Peter5:48 PM

    I associate myself totally with the letter from Bishop Fellay. It is exactly what I would expect a Catholic to say.

    I don't see how any Catholic, knowing the circumstances, could possibly disagree with it.

    There is only one Church : the Catholic Church. And it will survive. We have Christ's word for it.

    I hope and pray that the doubters and dissenters within SSPX have reflected on this and that they will (with reservations, I understand that,) unite behind their Superior General.

    Finally, I would say, if these words offend you, then either you're a schismatic or you're well on the way to becoming one :

    Ubi Petrus ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita aeterna.

  95. Yuckster5:50 PM

    Join us tomorrow for the next episode of As the SSPX Turns.

  96. GeneO6:35 PM

    If the three bishops leave the Society, how will new priests be ordained and the faithful be confirmed?

  97. Marty Jude7:03 PM

    Tracy Hummel said...
    Marty Jude,

    Look here for John Vennari's report on Assisi III.

    Thank you, Tracy. God bless

  98. Skeptico7:05 PM

    New Catholic said:

    "If we call ourselves Traditional Catholics, and this is a Traditional Catholic web log"

    Correction: this is only a "Tradition-minded" blog. You've made this clear several times recently.

    Too cowardly to post this message too?

  99. Marty Jude7:15 PM

    GeneO said...

    "If the three bishops leave the Society, how will new priests be ordained and the faithful be confirmed?"

    Dear GeneO, surely we should hope n pray this doesn't happen, but if it's God's Will, then we have to run-with-it...besides we don't know God's plan[s] in all of this!

    On a practical note, Bishop Fellay could continue alone - let's face it, the Archbishop managed without assistance, prior to the, there will be potential Bishops Elect from those who remain. I don't think we need to worry, as no-one, not even the Holy Father is indispensible - although I hope n pray he will remain with us for Many Years to come

  100. Not at all, Skeptico.

    This is a Traditional Catholic web log, it is in its very title.

    We speak of Traditional-minded Catholics quite often, but, in case you are offended, just don't call yourself that.

  101. Marty Jude7:22 PM


    "New Catholic said:

    "If we call ourselves Traditional Catholics, and this is a Traditional Catholic web log"

    Correction: this is only a "Tradition-minded" blog. You've made this clear several times recently.

    Too cowardly to post this message too?"

    Whoa! Is this how fellow Catholic Christians should behave? Now is a time for unity and mutual respect. It's enough with the dissent within the SSPX, besides anywhere else.

    I hope you were at least partly joking!

  102. Anonymous7:26 PM

    If I may (if not, moderators please delete) my two cents on the matter here:

    Those who want to insult me are kindly asked to do it here rather than on my blog...;)

  103. Thanks, mundabor, for the link. No insults from me. :)

    I would just add that I still have hope that the Society will emerge from this intact and in unity. The letters were obviously an attempt by the three bishops to communicate their objections to their Superior. He listened, and responded. It's still possible that they will take his response to heart. Perhaps they already have. I pray fervently that this is the case, even if current events seem to indicate it may not be likely.

  104. Tradical7:57 PM

    Hi Uncle,

    Something that NC mentioned has come to mind.

    Why publish this now?

    It is possible that some of the 'three' Bishops have acquiesced to +Fellay's reasoning and the person(s) who leaked it did so in an act of desperation to apply public pressure to +Fellay.

    This would seem to fit hand in glove with something that +Williamson released a little while ago.

    As I noted elsewhere. We'll know how the other members of the SSPX feel about the regularization if it does occur.


  105. Stella Maris, do you live in the Charleston area?

    If so, you are blessed to have Stella Maris, and their beautiful, weekly, TLM!

  106. This reconciliation will take place, but it is extremely naive to believe that it will take place smoothly. And the problems will NOT originate in the SSPX. The overwhelming majority of bishops will fight fanatically against the reintroduction of orthodox priests into our midst, and the celebration of sane Catholic liturgies in our churches. When Michael Rose first warned of rampant homosexuality in the priesthood, he was laughed at. And then we had the explosion of the abuse crisis, which revealed the true state of the Church. Get ready for round 2. The bishops, almost all of whom have steadfastly refused to permit the Latin Mass despite being ordered to do so, will now reveal the full extent of their apostasy. They will fight the reintroduction of Catholic Tradition with every weapon at their disposal.

  107. From Bishop Fellay's CNS interview:

    "I would hope so," he said, when asked if Vatican II itself belongs to Catholic tradition.

    "The pope says that ... the council must be put within the great tradition of the church, must be understood in accordance with it. These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely," the bishop said. "The problem might be in the application, that is: is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with tradition?"

    I find this disturbing. What does he mean by "the problem might be in the application". That makes it sound like the council itself is good but it has been misinterpreted and misapplied. The SSPX has never endorsed this position. I wonder if this is what he really said and if so, what on earth did he mean? And what does he mean by "I would hope so" when asked about whether VII itself belonged to Tradition. I have been a big supporter of Bishop Fellay and was thrilled by the letter to the 3 other bishops but I can't understand why he would say these things. Hopefully he'll clarify what he meant. I'm very concerned.

  108. it's worse than '888:16 PM

    If memory serves, a while back there was a survey of participants in this forum and the majority did not exclusively attend the TLM. It should therefore be safe to say that the majority of posters here are not traditional according to a definition that would be accepted by the SSPX, are not adequately familiar with the history of the SSPX and the traditionalist movement, and are not well schooled in the Catholic faith as it was taught prior to VII.

    It follows that the overwhelmingly positive reaction here to Bp. Fellay's recent movements - one might almost characterize them as ecstatic - is a testimony to the truth that Bp. Fellay is effecting changes away from the Society's core purpose and position while the other three bishops remain firm in the position that has always garnered the Society opprobrium.

    For me, ecstatic approval coming from this quarter is anything but reassuring.

  109. Tradical,

    I really do hope that's the case. :)

    You're right, all we can really do now is wait and see.

    On a separate topic, I really wanted to take a moment and publicly thank New Catholic and the other moderators! With the number of comments this topic has generated, your burden has been a heavy one. :)

    This site is just about the best out there for learning what's going on, and engaging in balanced, reasonable discussion. Kudos!

  110. Mr. Hummel, I greatly dislike interviews published in the format of regular articles, instead of the full transcript of the Q&A, and this is one of the reasons why: we do not know the exact question, the exact answer, and the context of both. So take the CNS article with a grain of salt, and remember it was not conducted by someone very familiar with the situation.

  111. St. Helen, pray for us8:29 PM

    To repeat an observation made elsewhere, do posters understand the difference between God's permissive will and his positive will? Doubtless most of what happens in this world is allowed by His permissive will rather than positively willed by God. If Bp. Fellay leads the Society to an accord with Rome it is NOT necessarily God's positive will.

    As to the Rosary crusade, prayer is not a gumball machine: put your coin in and receive what you expect and deserve. Sometimes God's answer (and therefore Our Lady's) is "no" or "not now."

  112. I find this disturbing. What does he mean by "the problem might be in the application". That makes it sound like the council itself is good but it has been misinterpreted and misapplied. The SSPX has never endorsed this position. I wonder if this is what he really said and if so, what on earth did he mean? And what does he mean by "I would hope so" when asked about whether VII itself belonged to Tradition. I have been a big supporter of Bishop Fellay and was thrilled by the letter to the 3 other bishops but I can't understand why he would say these things. Hopefully he'll clarify what he meant. I'm very concerned.

    I agree, but I think we have to realise the audience the Bishop was speaking to. We all talk differently to different people, and the fact remains that we don't even know the exact question, or whether he said the start of the sentence with the second part. It doesn't flow very well, IMO. A transcript would be more helpful, rather than a summary by a journalist.

  113. Dr. Williams,

    Good points. The relative silence from the modernists, at least so far, is a bit disconcerting in a way. It rather feels like the calm before what is likely to be quite a violent storm.

    They may be waiting to see if we self-destruct first. One more reason for unity on the Society's part.

  114. Johnny Domer9:04 PM

    I saw a comment about two miles above this one criticizing Fellay for implying that "Vatican II wasn't so bad." Another stated that the documents of Vatican II were "100% anti-Catholic."

    The ignorant bellicosity among many in the traditionalist movement sometimes makes me sick. If anyone should dare to suggest that something emanating from the Church following the year 1962 was not entirely awful, you get witheringly sarcastic rebukes, accusations of liberalism, and labeling as a sell-out. It's as if we're in some gym where everyone is trying to out-macho (or in this case, out-trad) each other.

    Fellay is correct to rebuke the other bishops for their assessment of the gravity of Vatican II. MOST of what is written in the documents of the Second Vatican Council is harmless, or consistent with the faith. Many of the statements to which the SSPX object are only ambiguous, with ambiguities that can and should be resolved in favor of traditional teaching (as our Holy Father has reiterated a zillion times). Finally, the number of writings that present genuine difficulties, wherein it is genuinely difficult to find correspondence with prior writings by Popes, represents an incredibly miniscule percentage of the writings of the Council. And of those questions, NONE of them rise to the level of dogma. They are questions on which the Magisterium requires less adherence.

    Let me ask--if we want to move beyond Vatican II and let it fall away with some of the other, less memorable councils, which approach is smarter? Fellay's approach, which holds that these difficult points of teaching might be stupid and wrong, but that they are things to which low levels of assent are required, and therefore that they are able to be changed back by subsequent acts of the Magisterium? Or the approach of Williamson and de Mallerais, which views everything that they dislike about Vatican II as a Super-Heresy in violation of a Super-Dogma? Which do you think is more in touch with reality, and which do you think is more likely to result, one day, in a shift back to traditional thought?

    No, the Council is not something fantastic that needs to be trumpeted from every rooftop, and many (not ALL) of the problems of the last 50 years can be traced to the ambiguities and poor philosophical underpinnings of the documents. Many problems stemmed from liberals simply using the occasion of the council to mask every crazy liberal thing they wanted to do, with no reference to the documents themselves (destroying churches, for example--Michael Davies wrote a booklet about how Vatican II and postconciliar documents did not require ANY change to the Catholic sanctuary.). This doesn't make the Council 100% anti-Catholic. Traditionalists need to STOP, THINK, and MAKE DISTINCTIONS before they slam "The Council" as being "Liberal," "heretical," or what have you, and they must stop having contests to see who is the most "trad" based on who can make the most sweeping condemnations of the postconciliar Church.

    The problem among traditionalists is that the more somber, angry, and weighty you are in condemning "modernism," the more respect you get. Just because somebody is somber and angry doesn't mean they are particularly bright or correct.

  115. Our Father's little child9:17 PM

    To "St. Helena, pray for us":

    With regard to the understanding, discernment and difference types of God's Holy Will, the following book will prove helpful to you and all of us. Your particular comments reveal a lesser degree of the Gift of Understanding than the extraordinary author.

    In the times in which we live, one of the most essential books to study is: HOLY ABANDONMENT by Rt. Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey, O.C.R.

    His pen guided by the Holy Spirit about 100 years ago left us with the treasured counsels unveiling how to discern the Will of the Holy Trinity in our lives.

    A brief snippet of his peaceful counsel: "Let us never doubt God's love for us. Let us put unfailing trust in the wisdom and power of Our Father Who is in Heaven. No matter how numerous our difficulties, no matter how alarming events may be, let us pray, let us do all that prudence prescribes; but let us accept in advance whatever trials God may will, abandoning ourselves with confidence to the care of this good Master. Then everything, everything without exception, shall contribute to the profit of our souls." p.100

    Clearly defining the means to recognize and cooperate with the "Signified Will of God" and the "Will of God's good pleasure", Dom Lehodey is a monastic escort through the maze of life making it a path of peaceful union with Our Father.

  116. Tradiate9:32 PM

    St. Helen, pray for us said...
    "...If Bp. Fellay leads the Society to an accord with Rome it is NOT necessarily God's positive will.
    As to the Rosary crusade, prayer is not a gumball machine..."

    That's a valid point, however, look at the results of the past 3 Rosary Crusades. 2 were answered right away and the other (concerning the consecration of Russia) was a "not yet" response.
    (maybe the Society has to be regularized in order to help bring this about)

    Given that so many people have been offering so many rosaries this past year in the biggest Rosary Crusade yet, can we not see a correlation between our prayers and these big events?

    Bishop Fellay said that he has seen the effect of God's grace this past year.

    Keep up the prayers and sacrifices, but be at peace.

    Trust in God and Our Lady. They will give the efficacious grace necessary

    to the Pope for the courage to give the Society the complete freedom to work for the restoration of the Church, and

    for Bishop Fellay to accept nothing less.

  117. St. Helen, pray for us10:15 PM

    Our Father's little child: how does the content of your quote conflict with my simple observation?

  118. "Fiat voluntas tua"10:21 PM

    "St. Helen, pray for us" questions Divine Providence. Perhaps this will help.

    The "King of kings and Lord of lords" sweat blood over the sins of our generation and the degredation in our times of the very Church. "Father, not My Will but Thine be done" He prayed in advance of His Crucifixion. Were His freely taken steps toward captivity NOT His Father's Will after He prayed? These steps were toward Crucifixion. . .these steps were toward the Resurrection - All for the Honor and Glory of His Father!

    H.E. Bishop Fellay has the Signified Will of Our Father to guide his every breath which also assists him to discern the Will of God's "good pleasure" when events occur beyond his control. Bent at the ALtar. . .at the Cross, he is One with Our Divine Lord at the Consecration. His will must also be one with the Divine Will in that moment. Let us pray his will is always unioned remembering that he alone has the grace of state to discern the Will of Our Father in these most delicate matters of his responsibility and will also answer alone before Our Divine Judge for what he does or does not do.

    "Veni Sancte Spiritus"

  119. St. Helen, pray for us11:00 PM

    Good grief, who is questioning Divine Providence? Can some readers not understand making a distinction with regard to how Divine Providence works (not a distinction of my own making - please consult a pre-Vatican II catechism) and questioning Divine Providence? Vatican II has given birth to millions upon millions of self made theologians and mystics.

  120. Tradical11:27 PM

    @ Helen,

    If this be the case - then perhaps you'd like to eludiate further - assuming that you are also one of the arm-chair theologians.

    You may also want to be clear as to whether or not you support +Fellay. This will provide context for any ambiguous statements.

  121. Tradical11:28 PM

    spelling correction: elucidate (oops)

  122. Anonymous11:41 PM

    The possibility of a split within the society is so sad! It will only bring more confusion to Catholics in these times of uncertainty!

    O Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us!

  123. The General House and Bishop Fellay have acknowledged their letter and given permission for publication. What about the 'three'? No word from them yet? I think it quite odd that someone, obviously associated with them, brought these letters to the public light (whether on their own accord, or prompted by one of the 'three'), yet still no word from any of the 'three' bishops. It does not appear that they have acknowledged the letters, nor that they have given permission for the publication of the letters. Not one bit of comment or explanation form them. This is extremely suprising with respect to Bishop Williamson, who never appears to be silent and is no stranger to the wed. The other two, not so much suprising, since they are rarely heard from any way and do not seem to put out much online or in the way of letters. Keeping that in mind, I would tend to think this release came from someone close to Bishop Williamson. I wonder if Stephen Heiner had anything to do with it?

  124. With serenity I think all bishops of the FSSPX will see how a P.P. will play-out.

    Give it time, Brothers, give it time...

    You can always abort mission if Rome goes batty... :)

  125. Tradical12:33 AM

    Hi Anon,

    Here's my watchwords:

    Prayer, Penance and Persevere.

  126. Genevieve12:57 AM

    God manifests His will to us in TWO ways: (1) by the rules He has made for us AND (2)by the various events which He causes to occur in our lives. In the former we have the SIGNIFIED will of God, in the latter His will of GOOD-PLEASURE.

    The SIGNIFIED WILL OF GOD is that all men be ONE. The Pope is apparently willing take the SSPX "as they are". Let Us Be One --It Is His Will!

  127. New Catholic said:

    "If we call ourselves Traditional Catholics, and this is a Traditional Catholic web log, we are obviously biased in favor of Catholic Tradition."

    So are you implying then that those who are against an agreement somehow don't meet the requirements of being called a Traditional Catholic?

  128. It's painful to write this, but what else can I do? History today has tied together several mysteries, from the Old Testament explaining exactly what is happening. (It is something not to be read, unless fortified by prayer, so as not to sin against charity.)

    Quote from The 33 Doctors of the Church
    Fr. Christopher Rengers, O.F.M. Cap.:
    "A great controversy that involved emperors, popes and bishops, that stirred up intrigue and bloodshed, that shook Christianity to its depths, centered on one simple, sure answer in the Catechism. The answer goes very simply: “The chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ is that He is God made man.” "

    (Matthew 24:4-5) "Take heed that no man seduce you. For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ. And they will seduce many."

    Note this mystery of evil: How can the deceiver come in the name of Christ, and simultaneously claim to be Christ without being double-tongued in the sight of everybody?We should not overlook the choice of words in Christ.

    That above prophecy from Matthew has been fulfilled (but most Catholics, through the fault of a habitual levity with words, have not been paying attention). In fact, therein can be explained every offense against the faith that we have struggled with in modern times.

    Read every word of this: (John Paul II, first homily, Oct.22, 1978) Applying the words of St. Peter intended for Jesus to the assembly, "please listen once again [to] ... the ultimate and definitive truth about man: the Son of the Living God - You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

    These are the words of John Paul II, a man entirely justified in claiming to speak in the name of the Christ. Herein, in virtue of his own membership in humanity, he can inexorably claimed to be Christ.

    The "worship of man" had always been imposed upon the Church externally by Her enemies (just read the innumerable encyclicals against freemasonry until 1958). Now, it is done from the Holy See - in the name of Christ. After 1958, Heaven (the voice of which being the Church) has been silent, as it were, for half an hour (the hour of darkness, of the enemy's triumph).

    Our Lord had care for the sheep, even those of latter ages, of whom there was prophesied to be "Idol Shepherd"(Zecheriah:11)

    Oh Lord! How can a shepherd also be an idol? For a Catholic, it cannot be conceived. For the enemy of truth, it is accomplished in the above manner.

    Levebvre, and his successors in fidelity, are the modern Athanasius.

    Rome, and their successors in whatever they have, shows in its actions the spirit of Julian the Emporer.

    Athanasius was exiled by Julian.

    Athanasius persevered in the Faith.

    Julian lifted the exile, in the name of the unity of Christendom.

    Athanasius continued as always.

    Julian re-imposed the exile of Athanasius.

    All together, Athanasius was expelled a total of five times by different emperors. This shows what to expect in the current proceedings, and where the life of the future of the present Church is to be found.

  129. This is great. Already 127 posts. As interesting as other topics are, this is, by far, the most comments made and thus the most captivating of the Faithful's attention.

    It proves this site (along with Fr Z's) has the integrity and grasp of the depth of the circumsatnces of the SSPX and with a realistic observation. These updates, as I have seen on other sites, are just thrown out there as mentions, not really embracing the topic.

    Thank you, RC, for being the most up-to-date with a truly concerned eye on these matters.

    God bless.


  130. Peterman3:56 AM

    "You can always abort mission if Rome goes batty... :)"

    Uhh, that already happened. From my perspective, inside the conciliar Church because of no options, hours and hours away from a SSPX chapel, I need some traditionalists to come along and help in the fight from inside.

    The key to winning battles is to get there first with the most men, we need a lot of traditionalists to flood into the Church which will in turn cause a chain reaction.

  131. Gratias7:34 AM

    A pity this drama has played so publicly. I find it fascinating to follow yet have never been to an SSPX mass (because thy are not with Rome) and the only SSPX faithful I have met are electronic friends from Rorate. Hopefully Long-Skirts will return to posting poems when this reunion is resolved favorably. She has given two children to the SSPX.

  132. 'You're either in the Church, or you're not.' Unless... you subsist in it?
    'EENS applies to every living souls. Including the SSPX.' Including Taizé too?

  133. Uncle Claibourne said:

    "The relative silence from the a bit disconcerting in a way. It rather feels like the calm before what is likely to be quite a violent storm. They may be waiting to see if we self-destruct first."


    Yes it's silent
    In the west
    Wanting self-destruction

    Never will
    In sin obey -
    Obey the truth?
    Then there's Fellay

    So soon the storm
    Now calm at border
    But malcontents are
    In their Order

    Exposed a letter
    Personal thought
    Devil's advocate...
    Souls now wrought

    But for this Christ
    Had us prepared
    He had Judas
    So we're not spared

    Now forward in
    The state of grace -
    Men of goodwill
    Run this race

    And do not rest
    Or think retreat
    'Til the entire world's placed
    By our Queen's feat!

  134. This is all getting very messy, we will see what happens, I think Bp Fellay would do well to reveal what documents exactly he and his priest are supposed to sign and what structure the society is getting, no one will really be able to make a decision till then but he is hardly building confidence by failing to do so. All of this speculation and rumour would be pointless if he would simply tell us what they have signed and what it means, then we could all see who was 'right' and who was wrong. This secrecy helps no one and far from preventing so called 'enemies' from scuttling the agreement it aids them.

  135. Mdm Long-skirts, have you made a compilation of your works? Please do, really.

  136. Trento2:16 PM

    One good thing that came out of this is the exposing of the crypto-sedevacantists in the SSPX. There's a lady here who is against what Bishop Fellay is doing, and trying to instigate the local SSPX priests and faithful to reject any form of dialogue with Rome, even without knowledge of any details of the proposed structure/deal. Any anyone who publicly voiced their disagreement with her gets a spiteful condemnation to Hell. I've never seen such spite and venom, and it seems not only un-Christian, but also demonic.

  137. This letter is stunningly brilliant.

  138. The spirit of Christ is at work in Bishop Fellay.

    What strikes me most is the humility with which he writes. He certainly has justification for righteous anger, but instead he speaks as a father to a son.

    Now is the time for prayer.

  139. The spirit of Christ is at work in Bishop Fellay.

    What strikes me most is the humility with which he writes. He certainly has justification for righteous anger, but instead he speaks as a father to a son.

    Now is the time for prayer.

  140. @Michael Sestak:

    Nunc, et semper.

  141. if only I can hug Bp. Fellay and console him at this most precarious time.

    even from afar, i can already feel the heavy burden this guy is carrying just by reading his letter.

  142. susan6:52 PM

    Pioquinto, the Borgia popes were still popes...get over it!

    Because a pope does something reprehensible does not make him an illegitimate pope. Even the Borgias didn't teach bad doctrine (they were too busy with orgies to teach at all), and neither did JPII introduce error into Church doctrine or dogma.

    I am increasing my prayers for the return of the SSPX...what a GOOD man Fellay is...he would be a magificent bishop to leaven the overall sorry loaf we have right now.

  143. The Society has been so fortunate to have a strong and charitable leader like Bernard Fellay at its helm these many years.

    Very plainly, I am hopeful the insertion of the SSPX back into the Church will have an outcome to our Holy Church as if anti-venom has been administered to a snake-bite victim.

  144. The Society is so fortunate to have a man of Bishop Fellay's stature and vision as our leader.

    After reading his letter I understand why the good Bishop looks so pale and stressed in a recent picture. He has had to do battle in Rome without the full support of his peers. It is so uncharitable when those who won't or don't lift a finger are critical of those in the trenches doing the work and taking the risks.

    I am hopeful the insertion of the SSPX back into the Church will have the outcome of an anti-venom administered to a snake-bite victim.

  145. Paul M, your comment will not be posted. Thank you.

  146. The Reverend Bishops of the SSPX.

    Your Excellencies!

    The publicity surrounding the internal dissension within SSPX is regrettable. On the other hand, the public discourse might do some good. As the venerable Bishops believe in divine Providence, is it possible, that God ordered it this way? One possible reason is that there might be certain things that none of the four bishops can say publicly, but a nameless nobody can say it, and what has to be said, can be said by somebody else.

    Judging from the contents of the two letters, it seems more likely that Bishop Fellay’s letter is closer to the spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre. The other bishops clearly exaggerate when they use terms like “all in the Vatican.” One of the Christian virtues is to distinguish, and distinguish well!

    If the did distinguish, they might have realized that Pope Benedict XVI is trying hard, but the Church is like a speeding train. For decades it was speeding in the wrong direction. There is a great deal of momentum that the present pope has to fight to stop the train and change direction. In this situation Benedict needs all the support and allies he can get. He needs the SSPX, that is why he attempted to settle the issue, but I guess he could not state this clearly, lest he be prevented from carrying out his job by an early death, just like the first PJ was.

    Another important distinction concerns doctrine. The church has established procedure in case of heresy or schism. But the present situation seems to be apostasy. Perhaps the apostasy that Paul referred to in II Tess 2:3. What seems to be happening in the Vatican is neither schism, nor heresy. It is loss of faith that has never happened on such a scale in the past and there is no protocol how to deal with it. They learned the vocabulary, use the right words, so they are not heretics, but distort the meanings. They have infiltrated the Vatican on the last 60 or so years. It seems Benedict has recognized it, and one of his weapons is to declare the next year “Year of the Faith.”

    If this is the case, he will need all the support he can get from the faithful, including the SSPX! It seems he has initiated the process to reconcile the differences with SSPX and set up a personal prelature because he counts on the SSPX to help clean up the Vatican and lead the apostate prelates of Vatican back to Christ or replace them.

    Please, do not disappoint and desert the best pope we have since Pius XII.

    In Christ,

  147. Michael Reardon6:10 PM

    It seems at this point that Bp Fellay will accept the deal with Modernist Rome, and that the other three bishops, if they have the courage of their convictions, will part with the SSPX and be left out in the cold. How many of the clergy and Faithful laity that they will take with them God only knows. Fortitude and perseverance in the Faith are rare virtues in the days in which we live. I can, however, predict well the outcome of this deal by the SSPX with the Gates of Hell. In 1990 I approached the Bishop of Richmond and requested just such a deal. As the founder president of St. Joseph Traditional Catholic Church, an independent parish,I asked that we be accepted as a parish within the diocese. After negotations, the parish was established, with Mass and all the Sacraments in the traditional Latin Mass. (See the spring 1991issue of The Latin Mass Magazine on its founding, as well as a 2003 issue of the same magazine on the same subject.)All went well, more or less, for about four years, and the congregation grew from approx a hundren to over eight hundred. But those hundreds came from the Novus Ordo, bringing with them little love or knowledge of what the Catholic Church was all about. The parish council became Novus Ordo. The various committes became Novus Oro. The entire spirit of the parish became Novus Ordo, to the degree that the council voted to rent part of the building to Protestants on a part-time basis. I parted with the parish in the late 1990s.I have absolutely no doubt that if St. Joseph's closed tomorrow, nearly every one of its parishioners today would have no difficulty in attending the Novus Ordo "Mass" the following Sunday. Such is the fate that awaits the Society of St. Pius X. May God grant the three bishops the courage to persevere in the Faith!

  148. St. Joseph's offers the Traditional Mass every single day, and Traditional Sacraments only. It is under the care of a great group of priests, the FSSP. I am sorry your very personal view of what is a reality which could only happen in the dreams of most Traditional Catholics around the world is so bitter. Please, offer your prayers and sacrifices so that many more Catholics can have the blessing of a fully staffed church where only the Traditional Mass and Sacraments are celebrated.


  149. What a beautiful letter. He sounds like a loving leader of his flock.

    The comment that made me sad was that it could take decades for the crisis in the church to end. I pray not.

  150. Kristin11:54 PM

    Why does everyone here seem to think that Bishop Fellay is right and the other three very holy and intelligent bishops are wrong? I disagree completely with this practical agreement and will continue to pray for +Fellay and co, but will be the first to follow the holy bishops and priests who refuse to be sucked into the tentacles of new Rome and stand up for Truth and Tradition and most importantly, our Faith. I was privileged to be born into Tradition with the true Mass and sacraments, and I will not throw it away because of some silly whim of a superior to be reconciled with modernist Rome. And yes, superiors can be wrong. They're human just like us. Even Saint Peter was wrong about allowing circumcisions in the early church and was corrected by Saint Paul, a convert! This situation is likened to that only here's 3 holy men against one holy but possibly very blinded man.

    The truth is this. Rome is not Catholic anymore. We are the Catholic Church- the faithful priests, bishops and lay people that have kept the Catholic Faith and live and preach it; those that follow what have been the church's laws for almost 20 centuries; those who have kept the Mass and sacraments intact and use them to give honor and glory to God. This new church is not holy. It does not love the Faith nor preach it- in fact, it preaches heresies! Like when this Pope himself said that the Jews can get to heaven without Jesus Christ; like when JP2 questioned whether there was a hell; or when Rome has doubted the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament by saying the Holy Eucharist is whatever you personally believe It to be. The Novus Ordo "Masses" are abominations and disrespectful to Almighty God to say the least. Sacrileges, scandals and outrages are flooding the Novus Ordo parishes. Our Lord said, "By their fruits you shall know them." I know New Rome to be BAD! New Rome has led to the massive destruction of the Catholic Faith and a tremendous loss of souls. This is why the Archbishop fought valiantly for our Catholic Faith and set up the SSPX to protect souls from Rome's modernist influence, and to keep them off the path to perdition. Do you forget the Archbishop's own words when he said the day might come when we will have to say Rome is no longer Catholic and the man sitting on the chair of Peter is not the pope? Do you recall our venerable founder speaking of Cardinal Ratzinger and saying we can have no dialogue with this man- he goes one way and we go the other? The Archbishop definitively proclaimed the rite of ordinations and consecrations to be invalid after the 1970s (I forget the exact year he said.) That means these "priests" and "bishops" are most likely, if not certainly, not priests or bishops at all. I wouldn't want to attend one of their Masses! No, thank you! Benedict XVI was consecrated after this time so we can't be sure he's even a bishop which would make it tricky to be the pope. Only God knows for sure the answers to all these questions, but there's plenty of evidence of new Rome's evil to know to stay away. Don't sup with the devil.

    I pray that God grants us some courageous Bishops and priests to uphold Tradition and to do the Will of God which is working for the salvation of souls. Kyrie eleison

  151. Anonymous3:19 AM


    The idea that the Archbishop believed that the novus ordo ordinations and consecrations are invalid, is false.

    I know this because as an SSPX seminarian, I was there when a conference was given on this very subject. The archbishop did research on this and found that the new formula for an episcopal consecration was in fact mediaeval. Hence, he accepted the validity of the new rites and their sacramental efficacy, notwithstanding their accidental inferiority to the traditional liturgy.

    + Albrecht von Brandenburg

  152. The Light of the World's taper6:31 AM

    Dear Kristin,

    May Our Blessed Mother spiritually embrace you, then take you to her Son's Throne. There may you rest your battle scarred soul before the "Alpha and Omega" Who trembled and sweat blood in the Garden of Olives despite His Omniscient awareness that just beyond the Crucifixion was His Resurrection. What did He pray to His Eternal Father: "Not My will but Thine be done."

    Did He jeopardize His entire mission to found the Church at this point by doing His Father's Will with His voluntary footsteps toward the captors?

    DIVINE PROVIDENCE is Eternal Wisdom's. The Holy Trinity had infinite amounts of time to establish Their Providential means for Their Honor and Glory, our salvation and the unfathomable privilege for mere creatures to participate in Their Charity - Eternally. Their Will is replete with extraordinary challenges, conditions,consolations and exacting confidence.

    The Sovereign Lord of all creation "humbled Himself becoming obedient, even unto the death of the cross."

    Is there a flaw in His example?

    The Will of the Eternal Father has been manifest clearly by the Vicar of Christ's turning toward H.E. Bishop Fellay. Christ Himself has guaranteed that "the gates of hell will not prevail against" the Church. When the Pope chosen by Divine Providence summons his priestly son, that son hears the "Signified Will of God" pronounced. The obligation to adhere to Divine Truth is also the guiding protection of the "Signified Will of God."

    The apostles fled the scene of the Crucifixion, except St. John whose loving trusting of all that Truth had spoken overcame his fears. He didn't abandon through Christ's abandonment: "My God, My God Why hast Thou foresaken me."

    Because you, Kristin, can NOT behold the future moments of Divine Providence, you fear or perhaps worse before Our Divine Judge, belittle as a "silly whim", the next step of the consecrated soul summoned to serve Eternal Wisdom by his humble, trusting "fiat voluntas tua".

    "Veni Sancte Spiritus" There is NO doubt that Our Lady is accompanying H.E. Bishop Fellay as she did her Divine Son. May she comfort you too. Our Lady of Fatima, "Ora pro nobis".

  153. Frater in Cristi10:18 PM

    Agimus tibi gratias Domine pro episcopo Fellay.

    oremus pro societas sacerdotalis Sancti Piu X, et pro Pontifice nostro Benedito.

    Recordare, Domine, Ecclesiae tuae, ut eam liberes ab omni malo eamque perficias in caritate tua,


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