Rorate Caeli

SSPX-Rome - Important: Fellay in Rome with Ecclesia Dei; details of CDF Wednesday meeting

Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli reports the following for La Stampa's Vatican Insider: 

One further step towards the resolution of the crisis willed by Benedict XVI: Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X, was in Rome in the past few days for a meeting of clarification with the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. From what Vatican Insider has learned, some modifications to the doctrinal preamble proposed by Fellay were examined and discussed. The outcome of the meeting appeared to be positive. On Wednesday, May 16, in the morning, in the Palace of the Holy Office, the "Feria Quarta" meeting of the Cardinals and Bishops of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will take place, called to express itself on the modifications to the text sent by the Lefebvrian Superior. The result of this collective discussion, which includes Cardinals and Bishops of the Roman Curia, but also of relevant dioceses  - among others, Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux, and Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, will be present -, will be delivered to the Pope in the following days.

Benedict XVI will receive from the hands of the Prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal William Levada ... the opinions expressed by each one of the Fathers of the "Feria quarta" and will thus be able to evaluate not only the outcome of the final vote, but also the individual reasonings of each, in order to then make his decision in full autonomy.

From what has been learned, the modifications proposed by Bp. Fellay insist on underlining the importance of Tradition as a stable element. The essence of the preamble, the point of departure, was the nucleus of the doctrinal part of the agreement signed in 1988 by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, who declared the "acceptance of the doctrine contained in number 25 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council on the ecclesial Magisterium and the adherence which is due to that magisterium." Regarding the dissent from some conciliar passages, he affirmed: "With regard to certain points taught by the Second Vatican Council or concerning later reforms of the liturgy and law, and which seem to us able to be reconciled with the Tradition only with difficulty, we commit ourselves to have a positive attitude of study and of communication with the Holy See, avoiding all polemics." [Rorate note: Tornielli is quoting the words of the May 5, 1988, protocol, not a present text.] 

Surprises are always possible, but what already took place in the previous "Feria quarta" meeting dedicated to this matter, as also the opinions already declared by Bishops and Cardinals, lead to believe with great probability in a positive outcome. An outcime which would have been favored also by the latest meeting of Fellay with Ecclesia Dei. 

What has on the other hand caused concern in the Vatcan was the content of the letter that Bishops Tissier de Malleraus, de Galarreta and Williamson sent one month ago to the Lefebvrian Superior Fellay. A very stern letter, opposed to the agreement, to which Fellay responded with a very significant missive, in which he provided the reasons for his decision, in response to a personal appeal of the Pope. The publication of the reserved correspondence between Fellay and the three confrères has caused not little concern beyond the Tiber, because it made clear the existence of a consistent opposition, against the re-entry into full communion with Rome, not only by individual priests, but also by three of the four Bishops ordained by Lefebvre in 1988. Bishops whose excommunication Benedict XVI had lifted in January 2009.

47 comments:

  1. When one hears mention of reliance on the presence for information by Ricard, Schonborn and Levada one's confidence in the role of the CDF is certainly being stretched.

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  2. Sspx-Vatican talks.Hope it FAILS.No surrender to Ratzinger,no surrender to Modernist Rome,God bless the Sspx,and Monsignor Lefebvre.

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  3. Brian6:50 PM

    What has on the other hand caused concern in the Vatcan was the content of the letter that Bishops Tissier de Malleraus, de Galarreta and Williamson sent one month ago to the Lefebvrian Superior Fellay. A very stern letter, opposed to the agreement . . .

    Naturally, the Pope could now erect a canonical structure for the SSPX through Bishop Fellay and proceed to take a "hardline" toward those SSPX priests and bishops who do not accept that agreement.

    Predictably, many liberals, neo-conservatives, bishops, cardinals, and even some among the newly canonically recognized SSPX and readers of this blog could be expected to label those SSPX Catholics who do not accept the offer as schismatic, practical sede-vacantists, etc.

    What will be gained by all this?

    I pray that our Holy Father does not take this hardline; but rather declares the SSPX fully Catholic with valid, licit sacraments; and gives the situation more time.

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  4. LG 25 really shouldn't be an issue. Its blatantly obvious that it is *affirming* Vatican I (since they must be in union with the Pope) and is in keeping with Church Tradition. It's one reason why liberal priests and priests with agendas were able to hijack the faith, since people trusted that priests were speaking for the Magisterium even though they went against it. It's also the reason why people follow the SSPX even if they are irregular.

    But if they want to deny the specific formulation, which actually affirming it through their understanding of Tradition and the role of the Priest and Bishop which is *more faithful* to LG 25 than average in the Church today, I don't see how the Vatican can say no.

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  5. Melchior Cano7:09 PM

    ".No surrender to Ratzinger,no surrender to Modernist Rome,God bless the Sspx,and Monsignor Lefebvre."

    Yes, thank you Gerald Purves for your incredibly insightful and profound comments. What would we do without the likes of you to advise Bishop Fellay?

    In all seriousness though, I think it's clear that unless you are a sedevacantist (which you appear to be), your commentary cannot be taken seriously. Who am I kidding? Especially if you are a sedevacantist your commentary cannot be taken seriously. Go haunt some other place.

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  6. The fear of the threat is bigger than the execution of the threat. Don`t play that game and don't fear. The Pope's will is over the CDF because Pope has assistance and grace of state and not the congregation itself.

    That they know they are about to loose terrain with this you can see in what they made to Disputationes that I can only understand as a bomb throw in this process.

    And for Cardinal of Vienna it will be a bad day too when he face the Pope to explain what he made with the homosexual couple.

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  7. Peter7:21 PM

    We must remember that after the Pope has received and read the opinions expressed by members of the Feria quartameeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he will announce his own decision.

    Whatever is said within various Vatican discasteries, the Pope's decision is all that matters.

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  8. Thomas Cranmer II7:32 PM

    Well said Gerald.

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  9. Gerald, please join us.

    In the moral, political, economic, and cultural spheres, the decline of Western Civilization accelerates. Its only hope is the return of the Faith, and the Mass, that built it. It's time for us to rally around the Holy Father, and Bishop Fellay, and do our part, in unity, for the restoration.

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  10. Hugh, something we finally agree on! :)

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  11. "Thomas Cranmer II"?... Things are at last starting to make sense.

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  12. e must remember that after the Pope "has received and read the opinions expressed by members of the Feria quartameeting of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he will announce his own decision.

    Whatever is said within various Vatican discasteries, the Pope's decision is all that matters."

    I agree that the Popes decision is all that matters here, but why does the Holy Ofice even have a say so in this matter as they will probably vote against giving the Society anything good?

    Its like a father of a family democratically saying that his wife and kids can vote on whether they go to the beach or the zoo, and after the vote he overules them by saying we will go to the ballgame, when the whole time everyone knew he would do this.
    It just seems like harmful and pointless nonsense politics.

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  13. Fr. A.M.7:41 PM

    Let us keep praying for for good news from the Holy Father concerning SSPX.

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  14. G. Purves, enough. If you can rewrite it, your comment can go through, if not, then no. We cannot allow that kind of Sedevacantist propaganda here.

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  15. Cruise the Grove,
    My impression is that Holy Father wishes to test his own judgement, so to say. E.g., we can suppose what such "homoporn" guy, as one German website calls him, can mind or think or reason in that respect. Thus, it might be that after receiving such outlines, Holy Father might be as if sure, that his positive reasoning towards society is really a right one. Well, this is just a small thought that came to my mind.
    Memorare, o piissima Virgo Maria, ...

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  16. Francis8:17 PM

    I think the Holy Father already knows what the likes of Schonborn and the other modernists at the CDF think about the SSPX and reunion. This is just a formality. The Holy Father wants this reunion to happen and it will.

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  17. No surrender to Ratzinger...!!

    Even +Fellay calls our Pope His Holiness. As Catholics, we can disagree with the man but not the office; even I, if greeted by our current President, would call him Mr. President.

    Part of the problem in negotiations is the inflated, exaggerated, and inflammatory rhetoric.

    The SSPX have been on a noble and just fight, but I think their fight should move into the ring, where they can throw even more devastating blows.

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  18. Anonymous8:35 PM

    Uncle Claibourne said ... Gerald, please join us.

    But isn't the Church better off with the "Geralds" of the world on the outside looking in? Considering how much harm has been done in recent years by opponents of the Church fighting it from within.

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  19. Jason C.8:52 PM

    But isn't the Church better off with the "Geralds" of the world on the outside looking in? Considering how much harm has been done in recent years by opponents of the Church fighting it from within.

    Well, clearly, Unc' would have Gerald wipe his feet first!

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  20. Ted Maysfield8:58 PM

    With even this well-connected Italian reporter mentioning the extent of consternation high in the Vatican at the opposition of the three bishops as revealed by the leak of their letter to Bishop Fellay, we now have evidence of a well-placed conspiracy emanating, as Rorate Caeli has surmised, by digital PDF “fingerprints” from England.

    In other words, very underhanded methods are being used involving breach of trust, to undercut, if not sabotage, Bishop Fellay and the pope. This is very serious. It will be mandatory to further investigate and then discover who leaked the letter — then we will find an individual or individuals within the FSSPX willing to commit this sin and who, by this action, show they are not worthy to lead or advise the FSSPX, no matter how high they are within the FSSPX.

    The end does not justify the means; Machiavelli’s way was not Christ’s way, but it is the way of the unscrupulous person or persons who leaked the letter from the 3 bishops. Bishop Fellay is not engaging in such tactics but his enemies and those of the pontiff are just so engaged. That should tell us something about the nature of the opposition to the reconciliation.

    I am not accusing Bp. Williamson or his circle of this leak. I have no evidence for such an accusation.

    It is fair to say that in his weekly column his rhetoric is increasingly angry toward the philosophy behind the possible reconciliation. In his last column he used the word “criminal.”

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  21. I think the Holy Father should invite the other 3 bishops for a lively discussion over a good meal.It seems some sort of a tradition that meetings with Pope need to be brief.I think this would help.Ryan

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  22. Stephen9:09 PM

    If the Pope regualrises the Society, he is giving them a canonical status: what is there not to accept? Things don't change practically for the day to day life of the Society, for its clerics and laity; only for its leadership: they will have a new status. Bishop Williamson can stay in England,continue to publish his "private" newsletter, but at least be a priest in good standing. Over time the language will change and the term Newchurch will be dropped (just as the liberal term inclusive Catholic Community must)and we will hear the language of righteous reform and renewal. For the man in the SSPX pew it will be business as usual. Let's not overstate what is happening, this is not 2 churches coming together, it is the granting of an ecclesiastical position to a clerical society. Why does it sound as though we are talking of 2 Churches?

    Stephen

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  23. Heartfelt Thanks9:39 PM

    This may be a slight digression, but may I offer my most sincere appreciation and prayers to whomever is responsible for this website? It has been the best "go to" source for news and intelligent discussion anywhere on the web. Without RC, I would never have known what is happening, or where or when to direct my prayers. Furthermore, their voluntary apostolate of enrolling souls in a purgatorial society is an act of true Christian charity motivated by true altruism. In addition, I click through their picture of Pope Benedict every day to pray for the Pope.

    Thanks to a good God for the graces I may have obtained through RC. And thank you, gentlemen, from the bottom of my heart.

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  24. Thank you for your kind words! And for clicking on the sidebar images.

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. "The SSPX have been on a noble and just fight, but I think their fight should move into the ring, where they can throw even more devastating blows."

    Or perhaps get knocked out.

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  27. Elizabeth9:51 PM

    I second Heartfelt Thanks. Rorate Caeli is the first site I read in the morning and the last in the evening. You all are absolutely trustworthy, charitable and honorable. I too have learned so much from your site over the years and thank you and bless you.

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  28. Ted Maysfield, your comments reminded me of the final Star Trek movie, The Undiscovered Country, where elements of the Federation and the Klingon Empire conspire to kill the President and the Chancellor, just so they can keep the hostilities going.

    Sad to think that the same dynamic appears to be going on now, in the Church, isn't it? Modernists and Traditionalists in apparent alliance, both attacking the Holy Father and the Superior General, trying to prevent an agreement, each using the other for their own selish objectives.

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  29. New Catholic

    New Catholic i believe your a convert to Roman Catholicsm.I thoroughly recommended that you attend the Traditional Latin Mass at the Sspx or a Traditional Mass Site,where you will receive valid sacraments,a valid mass,and be able to hear and say your prayers in Latin,not in vulgar tones.Only then will you discover your true Roman Catholicsm.Should try it.

    In Domine
    Gerald

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  30. In regard to an agreement between Rome and the SSPX, Pope Benedict XVI will do what he believes is holy and just.

    I don't believe for a second that the Holy Father fears what those within and without the Church may believe and/or express publicly in regard to his handling of the SSPX situation.

    The Holy Father will regularize the Society should he believe that the Society is full accord with Holy Mother Church's Teachings and Law.

    In the face of powerful opposition from within and without the Church, Pope Benedict XVI "freed" the TLM, lifted the SSPX-related excommunications and opened discussions with the Society.

    I believe that His Holiness and Bishop Fellay will walk the path of peace together.

    Tom

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  31. Tom said...

    I believe that His Holiness and Bishop Fellay will walk the path of peace together.
    ----------------------------------
    Lets hope they dont Tom.

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  32. John McFarland10:04 PM

    Well, let's see.

    The Preamble is the CDF's document, not Bishop Fellay's.

    +Fellay sent comments on it in January, and a clarification on the comments in April; and (assuming that Tornielli or his source aren't making things up) now he's been down to Rome to make clarifications on the clarification on the comments.

    So on Wednesday the CDF members will comment on the results, and then the dossier will go to the Holy Father.

    But the Preamble is just that -- a preamble which together with + Fellay's comments represents what he is prepared to say regarding matters of doctrinal authority. Whatever happens to it is not going to solve the question of the SSPX's status.

    +Fellay shows no interest in the Preamble as such. He is convinced that the Pope is going to make a decision not on the Preamble, but on whether or not to grant the SSPX no-strings regularization. As it states in his and his assistants' response to the "stern" letter of the other SSPX bishops: "the Pope has let us know that his concern to settle our affair for the good of the Church was at the very heart of his pontificate, and that he also knew that it would be easier both for him and for ourselves to leave things as they presently stand."

    The letter also puts the matter more bluntly: "it is clear that Rome will put up with [the status quo] no longer."

    If this is right, there will be a decision, willy-nilly.

    If it's a decision in favor of no-strings regularization, it would be nice for it to be based on an up-front declaration that the Society is in full communion. That would make hammering out the particularities of the SSPX's status into a decidedly secondary issue.

    But although +Fellay expects an answer, he clearly has no idea what the answer will be.

    So we're all well advised to keep on praying.

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  33. Speak for yourself, Gerald.

    I'm really losing patience with laymen in Society chapels, and elsewhere, setting themselves up as "The Supreme Authority." Pontificating from blog comboxes, while their comments indicate that they don't know the slightest thing about a true Catholic sense of reverence and obedience to lawfully constituted authority.

    One last time: We only have the right to disobey a legitimate command of a Superior when it is MANIFESTLY contrary to Faith. And this is NOT a course of action that is arrived at lightly. Archbishop Lefebvre struggled with this immensely, as did all of us who eventually followed him and the Society. It shocks me that so many seem to have lost the sense of humility in the face of such things.

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  34. Tom said..."I believe that His Holiness and Bishop Fellay will walk the path of peace together."

    Gerald Purves said..."Lets hope they dont Tom."

    Why don't you want Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay to walk together in peace?

    Tom

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  35. Melchior Cano11:07 PM

    Gerarld said, "New Catholic i believe your a convert to Roman Catholicsm.I thoroughly recommended that you attend the Traditional Latin Mass at the Sspx or a Traditional Mass Site,where you will receive valid sacraments,a valid mass,and be able to hear and say your prayers in Latin,not in vulgar tones.Only then will you discover your true Roman Catholicsm.Should try it."

    Mwahahahahaha. Seriously, dude? C'mon. Before trolling on Catholic websites take, say...30 seconds and read what's already on there. It is clear to anyone who has spent any amount of time on this site (including secular papers who have referenced it) that New Catholic and the Contributors are what we would call "traditional Catholics." If that's your argument, and the depth of your intellectual prowess, then I think the internet may simply be too much for you to handle right now.

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  36. Gerald is obviously a troll. I'm not wasting any further keystrokes on him.

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  37. G. Purves, I too am an SSPX faithful and have been praying for this reconcilliation for over thirty years. I have the upmost faith in the Holy Father and in Bishop Fellay to do the right thing for Holy Mother the Church and pray it will come to pass. You may find yourself on the outside looking in. Fellay is the Superior General and speaks for the Society.

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  38. New Catholic i believe your a convert to Roman Catholicsm.I thoroughly recommended that you attend the Traditional Latin Mass at the Sspx or a Traditional Mass Site,where you will receive valid sacraments,a valid mass,and be able to hear and say your prayers in Latin,not in vulgar tones.Only then will you discover your true Roman Catholicsm.Should try it.

    Gerald, what is this "Traditional Latin Mass" of which you speak? What is "Latin"? And "Roman Catholicism" -- what on earth is that?? We've never heard of any such things before, but they sound very interesting. Do tell us more.

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  39. Knight of Malta said...

    "The SSPX have been on a noble and just fight, but I think their fight should move into the ring, where they can throw even more devastating blows."

    Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

    "Or perhaps get knocked out."

    This is the Heavyweight Championship bout Br. Anthony, and as a betting woman I think the SSPX will go the whole 15 rounds for the greater glory of God and the good of the WHOLE Church!!

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  40. Peterman12:43 AM

    Blogger Gerald Purves said...

    Sspx-Vatican talks.Hope it FAILS.No surrender to Ratzinger,no surrender to Modernist Rome,God bless the Sspx,and Monsignor Lefebvre.

    Gerry, good luck, the Anglicans have a nice ordinariate, why don't you go over there permenantly?

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  41. Marty Jude2:29 AM

    I was only thinking over the weekend that there must be some form of communication between The Holy Father/Vatican and +Fellay/FSSPX.

    The risk of faction[s] splitting from the Society, means there is potential for egg-on-faces and therefore scandal, so this would need to be clarified, prior to any announcements.

    Gerald...I too am an SSPX faithful, since the early 80's - I have never heard Sede Vacantist talk in the hall after Holy Mass [other than to condemn it]. You now worry me.

    Bishop Fellay is doing his best for the Society and The Church - hopefully the Holy Father is too. If not, we'll go back to a similar situation to '88; then wait for the time to be 'right' again. This has to be tried. We should rally around +Fellay and not fight and squabble.

    I'll include you in my prayers. God bless

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  42. Gratias5:39 AM

    This adventure is more and more exciting. Bishop Fellay and the Holy Father are bridging an excellent reunion.

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  43. Our pastor mentioned that the Vatican would have to have some 'face saving' event or condition in the deal, and I cannot help but think of Brer Rabbit, directing all the onus on The Other Three, to give the Holy Father just that. For that matter, once having thought it, I can't imagine a better caricature for Bishop Fellay, and I mean that as a compliment to the rabbit's common sense and political acumen. It's the grin that finishes it.

    Also, I have heard Bishop Fellay make similar statements to those expressed in the letter by the opposition--not ever expressing disrespect to the Holy Father, but to the modernist theology sometimes mouthed by the Holy Father, yes, he has, as steadfastly as he had to. Because modernism is just wrong, as wrong as Tissier et al say.

    I would also like to say that in other threads the same people here disinviting others have said similar bitter comments about the actual theology still and often expressed in the Vatican halls, and by the highest. You know how serious some of the currents of error are regarding ecumenism, religious liberty, and collegiality, and how seriously they are diminishing the care of the flock in the day to day business of the Church. So please let us remember the souls that are at stake should SSPX capitulate on the key elements, and just pray. Gerald has made some true statements, that's the whole pity.

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  44. flos agri1:03 PM

    Gerald Purves: Get it straight dude! In Domine ??!! It's In Domino. ablative case following the prepostion in don't you know!!

    Please, how does anyone in this place have such a filthy name as "cruise the groove"???

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    Replies
    1. Bill G.2:45 PM

      Romanes eunt domus?

      Delete
  45. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Nobody finds it to be strange that all the supporters of the Rome/SSPX agreement try to back up their support wIth the imagined support of the Archbishop Lefebvre? The dead are not here to speak and it is vain to say that we know what they would do if they were here. A sin against humility.

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  46. Providence's petitioner5:27 PM

    Dear Anonymous,

    Your concern was actually addressed by Rev. Fr. Wailliez in his sermon posted by Rorate Caeli entitled: "Using the Abp. Lefebvre's words. . ."

    The Holy Spirit is attending to the conveyance of TRUTH. Behold Fr. Wailliez' docility to inspiration. The study of the lives and words of the holy men who have walked through history toward Heaven has extraordinary benefits yet boundaries too in application.

    May we all continue to humbly pray that the Will of the Holy Trinity be accomplished in the Holy Father and H.E. Bishop Fellay's lives in order that these current instruments of the Good Shepherd may shepherd us also to do the Will of Our Father - A.M.D.G. Our Father patiently allows us to grow in grace before His Omniscient watchfulness. Let us behold the increase of grace in the lives of our leaders with Him and we pray and sacrifice with our own "Fiat voluntas tua".

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