Rorate Caeli

Op-Ed (English - français)
The basis for the future relations of the SSPX with Rome
La base des prochaines relations de la FSSPX avec Rome

a guest-post by Côme de Prévigny 

The Spanish observers should be careful. This is not the first time they are mistaken on the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) by way of ready-made titles and misunderstood information. A few months ago, a colleague of José Manuel Vidal had affirmed that the discussions between Rome and Écône had ultimately failed. He was forced to turn around due to his rashness.

It is true that, on June 13, Cardinal William Levada had delivered to Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Society, a text to be ratified. Against every expectation, considering that the predictions had been optimistic, new and surprising demands had een added to the text and created an impasse following nine months of  negotiations. Even before the General Chapter had assembled, the Secretary General of the SSPX had been driven to state, in a letter dated June 25, that the Roman proposal was "unacceptable". Less than 48 hours later, the man responsible for the dossier, Mgr. Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, had been placed under a Vice-President who took charge of the matter from then on. One week later, it was Cardinal Levada who took the path to retirement.

That the SSPX would state that the proposal of the predecessor did not suit it is clear. To affirm it is to force an open door. And the Pope already took it into consideration several weeks ago because he changed the interlocutors of the SSPX, admitting that the previous ones had failed on that famous June 13. By submitting the affair to an Archbishop Vice-President with whom he has direct communication, and not anymore to a Monsignor secretary, he reshapes relations with the Society on different bases.

The latest SSPX communiqué stated that it will address a declaration to Rome. This text will undoubtedly serve as grounds for the upcoming relations. Those who think that this is the endpoint, that those in charge of the Fraternity have definitively given up on the idea of putting an end to the injustices that burden them, and of fulling restoring the Tradition of the Church to Rome, risk being disappointed in the days and weeks ahead. Abp. Lefebvre said that the solution would come from Rome. It is precisely for this reason that he never stopped going there.


un post par notre invité Côme de Prévigny

Les observateurs espagnols devraient prendre garde. Ce n’est pas la première fois qu’ils font erreur sur la Fraternité sacerdotale Saint-Pie X (FSSPX) au moyen de titres à l’emporte pièce et de renseignements mal compris. Il y a quelques mois, dans des conditions similaires, un confrère de José Manuel Vidal avait signifié que les pourparlers entre Rome et Écône avaient fini par échouer. Il a dû rebrousser chemin pour convenir de sa précipitation.

Il est vrai que le 13 juin dernier, le cardinal William Levada avait remis à Mgr Bernard Fellay supérieur de la FSSPX, un texte à ratifier. Contre toute attente, alors que les pronostics étaient optimistes, des exigences nouvelles et surprenantes étaient ajoutées au texte et faisaient l’impasse sur neuf mois de pourparlers. Avant même que le chapitre général ne se réunisse, le secrétaire général de la FSSPX était conduit à indiquer, dans une lettre datée du 25 juin, que la proposition romaine était «inacceptable». Moins de quarante-huit heures après, le responsable du dossier, Mgr Guido Pozzo, secrétaire de la Commission Ecclesia Dei, était «coiffé» d’un vice-président qui prenait désormais les rênes du dossier. Une semaine plus tard, le cardinal Levada prenait quant à lui le chemin de la retraite.

Que la FSSPX allait indiquer que la proposition du prédécesseur ne convenait pas relève de l’évidence. L’affirmer, c’est enfoncer une porte ouverte. Et le pape l’a déjà pris en compte il y a plusieurs semaines puisqu’il a changé les interlocuteurs de la FSSPX en convenant que les anciens avaient échoué ce fameux 13 juin. En remettant l’affaire à un archevêque vice-président avec lequel il communique directement, et non plus seulement à un simple monsignore comme secrétaire, il reconfigure les relations avec la Fraternité sur d’autres bases.

Le dernier communiqué de la FSSPX indique qu’elle va transmettre une déclaration à Rome. Ce texte va sans doute servir de fondement aux prochaines relations. Ceux qui pensent qu’il en est le point final, que les responsables de la Fraternité ont définitivement abandonné l’idée de mettre fin aux injustices qui les accablent et celle de restaurer pleinement la Tradition de l’Église à Rome, risquent d’en être pour leurs frais dans les jours et semaines qui viennent. Mgr Lefebvre affirmait que la solution viendrait de Rome. C’est pour cette raison qu’il n’a jamais cessé d’y aller.

[Posted at 1600 GMT]


rodrigo said...

God bless Côme de Prévigny for being a voice of sanity and charity throughout this agonizing process. I am confident his hopeful attitude to the future of Rome-SSPX relations will prove well-founded.

Miles Dei said...

To call Religion Digital "observers" is too generous. They are progressist in his editorial line, well known for maipulating Church information and news on that basis, and a firmly enemy of the Tradition and of Institutional Church. They are the other face of a hegelian coin. Neocons are the other one.

They will be happy if the negotiations end in rupture because that is a hard hit to the Pope himself and for a traditional renew of Church.

Joao said...

The interesting issue to debate is: how will the Holy See respond to the SSPX's refusal to sign the doctrinal preamble.

Well, it could be something like this:

1. The Holy See establishes a Personal Prelature. Let's call it Personal Prelature of Holy Mass and Miles Dei.

2. Nominates Bp. Lícino Rangel (or Fr. John Berg, FSSP, or Bp. Athanasius Scheneider) as Prelate.

3. Declares that all Priests or groups of Priests who are attached to the EF and want to be in full communion with the Church will be incardinated in the new Personal Prelature, subject to signing the profession of faith/oath of fidelity.

Mutatis mutandis for laymen.

4. New Personal Prelature to establishes international seminary.

5. Holy Father publishes nem Motu Proprio: all latin rite dioceses MUST start offering at least 1 TLM every Sunday and Holy days in the cathedrals and co-cathedrals within 6 months. If necessary, Ecclesia Dei Commission to coordinate training of priests. Nunciatures to independently verify compliance. Canonical penalties for non compliance to be announced.

6. Ecclesia Dei Commission warns the faithful concerning the canonical penalties incurred by the SSPX and still in force (all bishops and priests are suspended Ad Divinis). Masses are ilicit, no powers to offer confessions, etc... (canonical exceptions apply).

7. From now on, all SSPX matters to be dealt with by Pontifical council for promoting christian unity.

Kathleen said...

Thank you, Rorate and Côme de Prévigny for this.

I continue to pray

Francis said...

This saga between Rome and the SSPX continues. Without it seems an agreement for the foreseeable future. For all of us here that follow this everyday it can be very draining. At least for me.

New Catholic said...

Bishop Licínio Rangel passed away on Dec. 16, 2002.

Lady Marchmain said...

Thank you so much, Rorate Caeli, for posting this! It is very encouraging and I pray it really is so. It is helpful to think of Cardinal Levada's departure in this way; and also to think of Mueller as a muscle man whom Holy Father expects to guide as the mind behind the force.

May His holy will be done!

Anna said...

Who is Côme de Prévigny?

Neil Addison said...

Other than para 5 I entirely agree with you. If SSPX rejoin the Church then I will be delighted but if they do not then the position of traditionalists who have remained faithful to the Church should be strengthened. It would be churlish to have offered a Prelature to the SSPX and then refuse it to FSSP etc. In addition the Church should make sure that TLM is available wherever there is an SSPX Chapel so that no Catholic feels they have to attend SSPX as the only way to obtain a regular TLM.

New Catholic said...

Very good, Anna: this is Jeopardy!

David said...

It occurs to me, and perhaps it is worth noting, than none of us are being asked to sign a document that might violate the dictates of our conscience.

All the more reason for the Preamble to be made public.

Prof. Basto said...

The analisys that the Pope changed the interlocutors because the interlocutors failed (or even perhaps because the previous man in charge, PCED President and CDF Prefect Levada, added demands on his own authority, or rather, without authority from above, as some suggest), is interesting.

But the analisys glosses over the fact that the new CDF Prefect and PCED President chosen to replace Levada is a way worse Prelate.

And his statements since assuming office were ruinous. Way more contentious, and he couldn't even remember that one of his offices was the presidency of the PCED.

Now, it is true that Pope Benedict created a position of Vice-President of PCED, perhaps because he knew that the man he was appointing President was an unacceptable person, and a not at all helpful choice of Holy See representative for the negotiations.

So, the Vice-President is at the helm of the PCED, let us assume that. The Archbishop Vice-President is said to be a man trusted by the Pope. But then again, the Archbishop's interview was a communications disaster. He even admited not knowing much about the dossier. And expressed in a most clear may the untraditional notion of a living doctrine that adapts to the times, that is, a changing doctrine.

So, there are positive aspects in the replacement of those responsible for the June 13 failiure, but the article also chooses to ignore important negative aspects.

Marty-Jude said...

Neil Addison said...
"Other than para 5 I entirely agree with you. If SSPX rejoin the Church then I will be delighted but if they do not then the position of traditionalists who have remained faithful to the Church should be strengthened. It would be churlish to have offered a Prelature to the SSPX and then refuse it to FSSP etc. In addition the Church should make sure that TLM is available wherever there is an SSPX Chapel so that no Catholic feels they have to attend SSPX as the only way to obtain a regular TLM."

Strange how people soon forget that they would have nothing, or certainly far less, if it wasn't for the FSSPX. There certainly wouldn't have been Ecclesia Dei or Summorum. The Holy Father confirmed that the '62 [Tridentine] Rite had never been abrogated. Something the SSPX had said all along. The LMS and other such organisations never did anything for the Trad. cause. They pussy-footed around, creeping around the Local Bishops - and what did they get? What do they still get? Crumbs, yes crumbs off the table. Limited TLMs - rarely weekly on a Sunday and Holy Days. Grateful for whatever their 'merciful' Ordinary can offer. With Communion offered always consecrated at a N.O. Mass. I would rather travel miles as often as I am able, than set foot in a N.O. church, for what?! The Bishops are playing games. Wise up! They already offer regular Masses in areas where the SSPX have bought churches - to rival them. It's not about being shepherds, it's about playing Modernist political games, to make it look as though they're caring for Trad's, when in actual fact, the majority, don't give a stuff for/about us.

David said...

Life is hard, M-J. Better to accept table scraps, like the humble Caannite woman in the gospel, than to set oneself in perpetual (and petulant) opposition to the Pope in Rome.

Andrew K. said...

Obedience above all else, right David?

Pray, pay, and obey!

Marty-Jude said...

Hi David, I take your point, but I was in favour of the reintegration, despite us not knowing the details of the doctrinal discussions/preamble etc. I trusted/trust Bishop Fellay.

The feeling I'm picking up on with fellow FSSPX faithful is that, far sede vacantism, it's more can we be part of the current situation whereby there is so much mess and The Faith isn't being taught. Better to wait til the time is ripe, when it is God's Will and God's Time.

We remain Catholic and loyal to Rome. The Rome of The Ages - just not the hippy style that appears to be dying off.

The Society's Priests are suspended A Divinis, not excommunicate. They remain part of The Church. It doesn't bother me they do not have the usual full faculties. I am happier going to them, knowing that they are preaching The Church's Teaching and providing us with valid and real sacraments, whereas, the N.O Sacraments can be questioned if only by intention of the Priest concerned, let alone anything else.

Anyways, we're still not there yet...Bishop Fellay needs to return to Rome with the statement...Kyrie Eleison

David said...

Caannite s/b Canaanite.

I do not mean that the FSSPX should sign a document that substantially compromises Catholic Faith. I do mean that poor accommodations are no justification for refusing to reconcile with Rome.

thomas tucker said...

What I don't understand is why the Holy Father doesn't just meet directly with Abp. Fellay and be done with it. Couldn't they just hash everything out directly between the two of them in one afternoon?

David said...


It should concern you that a priestly society operates outside the juridical structures of the Roman Catholic Church. This is no small thing.



Peterman said...

Merci Côme de Prévigny. Vous et tres gentile et prudent aussi.

Côme de Prévigny said...

Cher Prof. Basto,

Mgr Di Noia était secrétaire de la Congrégation pour le Culte Divin, un poste qui lui permettait logiquement de prétendre à devenir chef de dicastère. Or ce n’est pas le cas. Il devient officiellement le vice-président d’une sous-commission. Mais en réalité, il en est la tête et il devient le responsable d’un dossier qui tient à cœur au pape. Mgr Di Noia n’a pas le droit à l’erreur. C’est d’ailleurs sa carrière qui est en jeu (même si on parle d’un prêtre, c’est la réalité). Par cette nomination, le pape prévient aussi les traditionalistes que leur véritable interlocuteur n’est pas Mgr Müller mais Mgr Di Noia.

Par ailleurs, il faut faire des distinctions dans les propos de Mgr Di Noia. Quand il dit qu’il ne connaît pas notre milieu, il fait de la diplomatie pour donner l’impression qu’il est un personnage neuf. Il avoue tout de même qu’il a lu Roberto de Mattei… preuve qu’il n’est pas complètement à la remorque sur nos dossiers. Je crois aussi que ses relations il y a trente ans avec les juifs de Brooklyn sont circonstancielles et cherchent à apaiser ceux qui ont fait pression. En revanche, il est intéressant de lire sous sa plume qu’il faut s’affranchir d’une lecture progressiste du Concile. Il parle bien de « progressiste ». C’est nouveau. On a pu lire ça chez Mgr Gherardini mais pas chez Pozzo. Et il donne des noms : Congar, de Lubac, Rahner, Chenu. Il dit aussi qu’il ne faut pas chercher à restituer la pensée des pères qui n’est pas l’essentiel selon lui. Ces éléments sont intéressants et permettent d’envisager des perspectives. Pour ma part, je n’ai jamais entendu Mgr Pozzo ou le cardinal Levada conspuer ces experts qui étaient jusque là des mythes intouchables.

JabbaPapa said...

Thank you for this comment, and its prudence, lucidity, and calm.

Prof. Basto said...

Dear M. de Previgny,

Thank you for your reply. I agree that, by creating the position of Vice-President of the Commission precisely when changing the Prefect, the Pope is indicating the Vice-President as the interlocutor. We can assume that.

And thus we can assume that Mons. Muller will not lead the Holy See's side of the negotiations, and that, in his stead, that job will fall to Mons. DiNoia.

But still, if any further exchanges of documents take place, and if the Feria Quarta meetings (Ordinary Sessions) of the CDF need to take place, then it will be Archbishop Muller presiding over such meetings.

As for Di Noia's treatment of the opinions of Rahner and his recognition of essays that are critical of the ideas of such men as Congar, de Lubac and company, that is certainly a positive aspect worth remembering.

Neil Addison said...

M J said Strange how people soon forget that they would have nothing, or certainly far less, if it wasn't for the FSSPX. There certainly wouldn't have been Ecclesia Dei or Summorum .... The LMS and other such organisations never did anything for the Trad. cause.... With Communion offered always consecrated at a N.O. Mass.... We remain Catholic and loyal to Rome. The Rome of The Ages

A number of points.

Firstly I consider that it is arguable that the SSPX have done more harm than good for the cause of Traditionalism in the Church. By their schismatic acts they made every Traditionalist look suspect and made organisations like the LMS have to spend years repairing the damage caused by SSPX. You I appreciate will disagree with me on that but I ask you to consider it.

Secondly LMS Masses have communion consecrated at the LMS Mass not another Mass

Thirdly You remain loyal to "Rome of the Ages" what that means is you are loyal to Rome when Rome says something you agree with but disloyal when it says something you disagree with. Sorry but that is not loyalty to Rome nor is it a legitimate Catholic attitude

Finally I hope and pray that SSPX will return to the Church however I do get fed up of Trads like you throwing out arogant gratuitous insults towards loyal Catholic laypeople and Priests who are attempting to live a Catholic life in Communion with the Church

Neil Addison said...

Marty-Jude can we be part of the current situation whereby there is so much mess and The Faith isn't being taught.

How about trying to clean up he mess and teach the faith ?

Carl said...

Are we not required to assent to Vatican II as part of the ordinary magisterium? I know this question is basic, but I don't understand the SSPX's position.

JTLiuzza said...

"however I do get fed up of Trads like you throwing out arogant gratuitous insults towards loyal Catholic laypeople and Priests who are attempting to live a Catholic life in Communion with the Church"

How terrible for you, Mr. Addison. I have my own list of things with which I am "fed up." But such a listing would not only be off topic, but would without question be so long as to probably run afoul of what the moderators would allow.

Gratias said...

Joao said:

5. Holy Father publishes new Motu Proprio: all latin rite dioceses MUST start offering at least 1 TLM every Sunday and Holy days in the cathedrals and co-cathedrals within 6 months.

Seems to me a great proposal. Same about having a personal prelature for traditionalists.

Scott Quinn said...

Mr. Addison,

What evidence can you provide that the "cause of traditionalism" was even a blip on the radar screen at the Vatican during the 1980s? You avoided MJ's very good point and then went on to make several absurd points that impugn the sacrifices made by the good priests, religious, and laymen of the SSPX.

Martyjo said...

Neil addison said, in relation to the SSPX: "...By their schismatic acts they made every Traditionalist look suspect and made organisations like the LMS have to spend years repairing the damage caused..."

What "acts" would these be Mr. Addison? I am aware that Rome accused the SSPX of a single act of schism in 1988, but you appear to believe that there have been multiple acts of schism. You should explain this anomaly.

As regards the LMS and like organisations, these differ from the SSPX in one major point. The SSPX refuses to compromise on some very serious doctrinal problems in some of the conciliar documents which have caused chaos with the Faith. It would be very easy to settle for free access to the Tridentine Mass and the comfort of being described as "in full communion" on condition that silence is maintained in respect to these serious serious issues, but it would not be honest. Nor would it be helpful to the Church in the long run.

The SSPX could have accepted a deal years ago if it had been prepared to compromise, but it refused, and continues to refuse, because it fights for the fullness of the Faith, not for a personal comfort zone while the Church's institutions fall apart.

The leadership of the SSPX never has been, nor is it now, schismatic. Remember, it is not the SSPX which has changed the Catholic Faith of the ages. If you want to find true schism in the Church today you need to look elsewhere, perhaps in the direction of those who have altered the faith out of all recognition. I don't see accusations of schism been thrown at these people.

Isn't it ironic that the one institution that defends 100%everything that was taught and practiced up to Vatican II, refusing all compromise, is the only one which is today called "schismatic?" Interesting, eh?

Long-Skirts said...

Neil Addison said:

"...and made organisations like the LMS have to spend years repairing the damage caused by SSPX."

Yes, growing large Catholic families, grade schools, high schools, colleges, seminaries, monasteries, retreat houses and all from the center of our Faith, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where the SSPX Priests allowed the graces to multiply naturally. The b*stards!


Disease has crept
Along the branch
Rotting from within

A pestilence
And blackened stench
Mold that smells like sin

And in a crook
On branch near Vine
There are some plants who sit

Preferring Vine
Accepting branch
Their leaves and stems are split

But years ago
A faithful farmer
Grafted growths to Vine

Broke from branches
Twisted cracked
"These shoots I know are mine."

And to this day
Forever more
To Vine these stalks adhere

Branching churches
Priest and schools --
Glistening grapes appear!

Hare Krishna said...

Marty-Jude wrote:
"Strange how people soon forget that they would have nothing, or certainly far less, if it wasn't for the FSSPX."

True dat.

Maybe this is as it should be. The FSSPX stays where it is, forcing Rome -- by the mere fact of its existence -- to keep tradition alive.

Kind of like Batman at the end of "The Dark Knight". Gotta have someone to blame, but at least someone is fighting crime effectively.

David said...


There is no denying the fact that the FSSPX has been very successful operating outside the juridical structures of the Roman Catholic Church lo these many years. Unfortunately, it is precisely that remarkable success that prevents many who are affiliated with the FSSPX to even consider the remote possibility that operating on the fringes of the Church of Rome might not be an altogether good thing, that it might actually not be the most Catholic thing. The FSSPX will not be the first to fall victim to their own success. Let us hope that Bishop Fellay is able to step outside this hobbling subjectivity that has caused so many of the mighty to fall.

Scott Quinn said...


Why do you think Bishop Fellay is negotiating with Rome in the first place, if not to normalize the situation? The SSPX has been consistent in its desire, publicly manifested, of normalizing relations with Rome. You claim that the SSPX "will not be the first to fall victim to their own success." What other traditionalist group has even a fraction of the success of the SSPX? At least we know the SSPX will never compromise on the important things, unlike every other "traditionalist" group. The SSPX won't sell its soul for a mere papal seal of approval.

Mr. Addison, still waiting for your response.

David said...

And make no mistake, there are many who believe, Rome being what it is today, that operating apart from Rome is a good and Catholic thing.

thewhitelilyblog said...

David, you said that 'I do not mean that the FSSPX should sign a document that substantially compromises Catholic Faith' but apparently they are being forced to do that now, under the new leadership, although the initial offer apparently included the right to continue to argue certain, named novelties of Vatican II. If you don't know what the exact words are, and the exact words from tradition they distort or reverse, you should google Gleize and get the four fundamentals of that discussion.

But that offer was renigged. There have been some excellent summaries of the flow of the 'talks' and leaked content here. And this matters. You simply cannot 'fight,' as you very correctly keep urging us all to do, without being able to fight the novel and harmful doctrine. David, it is possible to observe how those trad groups 'inside' fight this fight. I wish you wouldn't make me say it and seem so uncharitable, but I have watched during 'ecumenical week.' There's no fighting going on. There's a lot of hiding, though, in those groups, depending on how aggressive the diocese is in promoting modernism. My reference is Mexico, and it's not just aggressive, it's scary.

When that initial offer was on the table, that SSPX could be 'reconciled' and still argue the doctrine, Fellay was on your side, or whatever, and I personally even used the same language as you have used regarding the need for SSPX and all the rest of us to get in the fray up close and personal--in fact, Fellay used a boxing term, I forget what it was now. But it's a whole different thing if you will be forbidden the doctrinal fight. Listen: it's not the liturgy alone that's killing the Church. It's the false teachings. They are like buried curses, except SSPX has named them, has exposed them, has forced the discussion away from whether or not the problem is the 'spirit of VII' and so forth and so on and on to the real problem: yes it's in the texts, not just the abuses, and yes it has to be repudiated and fought with all our hearts, usually named as four: religious liberty and ecumenism and collegiality and the Church/salvation laguage, although they all devolve down into one major question: is there Truth? should Truth rule?

Fellay was right to entertain the possibility of 'taking the deal' as long as we could fight the doctrine issues, in spite of the fact that many--here!--wanted him to reject it unless he had the power to over-ride every bishop on earth. Because he says, like you, and anybody with a brain: no matter what the state of emergency, you can't stay 'outside' forever and not grow fangs. But he's right to reject it now, because apparently they've changed the terms. Changed them for all of us, a change just about as world-shaking as the Council: before, a pastoral Council that never went through the curial vetting required to ensure its teachings, you could take it or leave it, now: you too must sign off. And please be so very sure--in a false, robotic obedience, here's what anyone is signing off on: a One World or at least One Western Church, not called Catholic. Just re-read Caritas in Veritate. The Church of Christ Without Christ.

don pierluigi said...

You are wrong: there is a big difference between schism and heresy a your words are rather confused. Schism does not necessarily imply any heresy, nevertheless it is a very serious sin and not a small matter as you seem to suggest. In 1988 the ordination of four bishops without the pope's approval constituted a very grave act, though you say only a single act. This is enough to question the understanding of Catholicism by those who claim to uphold 100% of catholic doctrine. Where is the authority of the vicar of Christ respected in such an act? Where is his potestas clavium acknowledged? On the other hand, you may claim that some position of vii are questionable and represent somehow a rupture with tradition, but such a thing is NOT a multiple act of schism, as you suggest. You may try to prove that there are heresies, and I don't think you will succeed, but you cannot speak of schism.

Lynda said...

That is the truth.

MKT said...

I'm the perennial optimist, but let's face it brethren, this whole situation is not good.

We went from "imminent" acceptance in April to an expected public statement from the SSPX on what it will take for dialogue to proceed with the Vatican.

Let's call a spade a spade, this is bad. How it went from "a done deal" in April to "what it will take to keep talking" in July may or may not have something to do with Levada resigning and Muller appointed. But it is not good.

It is in fact quite clear that certain forces have in fact been successful in derailing what was imminently to be called a success.

While it is true that the Holy Father is very defensive of Vatican 2's "depth" and "value", and himself has heaped praises on +Muller, who is unabashedly disrespectful of the SSPX and has openly threatened to re-excommunicate them; nonetheless, the Holy Father has wanted a reconciliation and appeared very willing to give the SSPX what they deemed critical to such an arrangement. And somehow, this was derailed in the last 3 months.

If we believe +Fellay, the Holy Father told him "My authority ends at that door", as recently reported by Chris Ferrara on the This leads us to believe that the Holy Father cannot be as forceful in making this deal happen as he would like. As such, perhaps the Holy Father is in a situation where he needs to get the SSPX's worst enemy, i.e. +Muller, and the SSPX start talking to each other in the hope that this way the most viable options can be identified - perhaps he hopes for +Muller to listen to him carefully and perhaps he hopes +Muller sees the light on this matter. And if such a thing were to happen the modernist mafia in the Euro episcopates will not be able to argue against their arch-champion +Muller.

Sort of like King Saul hiring Goliath to work out a deal with David. Maybe the Holy Father hopes against hope.

It is encouraging that the SSPX has not said "no" but rather "this is what it will take to continue dialogue" - this is constructive on their part. However, we also need +Muller et al - the fierce anti-SSPX forces in the Vatican - to be constructive, and asking for that is somewhat counterintuitive.

Unless Pope BXVI is able to speak on their terms to them at some level.

At any level, the above picture is bleak to say the least. We are 30 days from Our Lady's Assumption, and 50 days from Her Nativity. This is a mini-Lent in the making. We need to redouble our Rosaries - 12 million clearly not enough, maybe 20 million will do it - to secure the necessary graces.

We need +Muller to convert, we need the SSPX to remain indivisibly united, we need the Holy Father to remain physically and spiritually strong.

May Our Lady will it soon!

PC said...

All of the rancor achieves nothing. One cannot simply wish away what Vat. II has said. There are things which are non-negotiables of course. However, there are things which are open to discourse.

Sadly, there are people who would rather be a marginalized and ghettoized sect of Catholicism. Instead of being a part of something larger, they would rather continue on their path claiming hardship and garnering pity.

The Extraordinary Form being offered in Cathedrals will not change the situation. Bishops not being resistant to the Extraordinary Form will not change things.

What will change things is to drop the superior attitude some people have. This goes for both Trads and everyone else. I am not pointing fingers.

Let's look at this from a parish pastors perspective... Someone comes to Mass in Saint Swizenstoms... They are upset because Father said something or that Mass was not in the Extraordinary Form... They approach Father Pastor and being a litany and about this...

Now suppose, I go to someones house for dinner, I had several invites, but I chose a couple I am nominally familiar with. I was expecting Beef Wellington, but they made a good pork tenderloin instead... Do I begin a litany about how I could have gone elsewhere and gotten a better meal? No... Thats just plain rude...

Now you can see how people who work in parishes and dioceses are tired of this discussion. People get tired of hearing that a group is marginalized... When it comes to the Mass they no longer are. If it's Vat. II., those tides will turn too... Vat. II wasn't the end all and be all of the Catholic Faith. I know parishes which still use Catechisms from before the Council. They couple it very nicely with the current Catechism...

Sorry for the rant... But something's gotta give! Roma locuta est, causa finita set.

Tradiate said...

For everyone that thinks the SSPX is 'presently' in a state of schism.

Cardinal Castrillion Hoyos (sp) made it very clear: The SSPX is NOT in schism.

He was the Cardinal in charge of the PCED at the time of the statement and was competent in this regard.

Further, the act of consecrating a bishop without Pontifical Mandate is not a schismatic act, it is an abuse of episcopal power and is found under that section in canon law.

Third, in consecrating the four Bishops, Archbishop Lefebvre made it quite clear in his sermon that he had NO intention of creating a schism and that the reason for doing the action was because he believed necessity required it. Canon law allows for this even if the perception of necessity is in error.

IMO: The question that should be asked is this: Why did the Pope refuse permission for a Bishop loyal to the Church's Tradition to consecrate Bishops in order to preserve that Tradition given the state of the Church in the 1980's?

Ld Schmidt said...

Masterly said, Martyjo. Your clarity is without equal! Thanks. Ld Schmidt

Common Sense said...

Dear Neil Addison,

I suggest that if you want to deprive your soul of the Traditional treasures which the SSPX presents to their faithful, then go for it, but don't presume that the others should follow you down the same road.

Benedict Carter said...

Joao said:

"The interesting issue to debate is: how will the Holy See respond to the SSPX's refusal to sign the doctrinal preamble".

Bishop Fellay signed the Doctrinal Preamble. Vatican wreckers then gave him another version to sign.

Deceit all round is what Catholicism faces from Modernism and Protestantism.

Neil Addison said...

Scott Quinn said...
The SSPX won't sell its soul for a mere papal seal of approval.

That remark by you Scott is typical of what many SSPX supporters say on this and other forums and it also sums up the problem of the SSPX attitude.

Refering to the SSPX selling its soul for "mere papal approval" is a Protestant and/or Sedevacantist attitude it is not a Catholic attitude nor is it an acceptable Catholic point of view.

Make no mistake I want the SSPX to rejoin the Church because I beleive that SSPX would be of immense benefit to the Church and would reinforce many in the Church who share the SSPX concerns but who have remained loyal to the Church. If SSPX are the loyal Catholics that they claim to be then they have a responsibility towards the entire Church to come back and argue their corner within the Church. If they feel that is impossible then they have become Protestants and/or Sedevacantists and really should face up to that fact and stop pretending

Bartholomew said...

It's ironic that the developments at the June 13th meeting are an example of one of the SSPX's main objections to conciliar and post-conciliar times: collegiality. If the Pope had exercised his primacy instead of throwing the agreement with Bishop Fellay back to the wolves in the CDF, we wouldn't be sitting where we are today.

Mr. Perkin's Local Ordinary said...


Nor is it a Catholic attitude to say the SSPX is "out of the Church" when (a) Rome has never said this, and (b) it is not true either.

don pierluigi said...

No man, you are wrong: Canon 751: schism is the refusal of submission to the supreme pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him. Canon 1013: no bishop is permitted to consacrate anyone a bishop unless it is first evident that there is a pontifical mandate. Canon 1382: a bishop who consacrates someone a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the apostolic see. Now in Canon law there are very few excommunications reserved to the holy see. If this is just an abuse, as you claim it to be, could you please explain how a bishop can ever be schismatic? Leave aside that all commentaries to the code of Canon law quote the schism of econe as a typical example of schism. If what happened in 1988 was not a schism, please enlighten me: what is a schism?

Neil Addison said...

If SSPX are not out of the Church then what are the negotiations about and why are they necessary ?

thewhitelilyblog said...

Don pierluigi is right, of course. Bishop Fellay would not be standing out in the rain knocking and knocking on the door, if SSPX were 'in' the Church the way all ought to be 'in' the Church, regardless of the charity or uncharity of the statement and regardless of what Rome has or has not said on that matter. In other contexts, SSPX says often enough, in holding to tradition the way Christ taught, she is more 'in' than those who are 'in.' And then she cites the state of emergency. As someone who attends an SSPX chapel, after many years of trying not to, I hold that position in my heart every time I kneel down to pray, and I keep in mind that protestants and other heretics always and everywhere want to change the tradition of the Church. There have been none called heretics who have been the ones trying to preserve the tradition. That is the only comfort one gets.

But my heavens, man, we've been having that discussion for decades. It's old. There are so few here who would still call SSPX heretical and disobedient. What concerns us far more now is the dramatic changes these new appointments introduced. This is no more a base of those who represented the 'spirit of the council,' those sex-drunk libertines who could be counted on to leave almost everybody alone while the Church withered as per schedule.,No, this is the jackbooted conciliarist. They're only swatting with the script from the Hermaneutic of Rupture, so far. But they want the real conciliar Church, and I'm afraid we're about to see why that's such a bad thing. You will have your indulted traditional massses, always fewer of course as you are weaned, but you will also have your daily dose of ecumenism and like it.

MKT said...

Dear Neil Addison

The discussions are about normalizing relations between the Vatican and SSPX.

Schism is not what is in question at this time.

Whats Up! said...

Neil Addison said...
"If SSPX are not out of the Church then what are the negotiations about and why are they necessary ?"

To canonically regularise them.

They are of course in the Church because their Masses fulfill the Holy Day obligation as seen in Canon 1248 and the PCED has stated as such.
One cannot fulfill the Holy Day obligation at a non Catholic Mass.

The Society asked Rome for these doctrinal discussions and Rome kindly agreed.

A journalist said...

I need help. I'm trying to clear up an inconsistency in my modernist media style guide: Lefebvrist? Lefebvrite? Lefebvrian? Lefebvrenese?

Umm, maybe "Lefebvrippinos"?

What are we supposed to call you reactionary integrist so-and-sos, anyway?

JabbaPapa said...

This one just lurched out of me from the general scroll :


We need +Muller to convert


Expecting the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to "convert" is most surprising, and suggestive of an unusual approach towards the Magisterium.

Otherwise :

We went from "imminent" acceptance in April to an expected public statement from the SSPX on what it will take for dialogue to proceed with the Vatican.

Erm, "imminence" in Catholic terms does NOT actually mean "sometime in the next few hours, days, or weeks." --- It means "sometime in the next few months or years, rather than decades or centuries."

Neil Addison said...

MKT, What's Up, Mr. Perkin's Local Ordinary

Benedict XVI wrote in July 2009 in Ecclesiae Unitatem

4.the Society [SSPX] has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers cannot legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church

May I repeat my point that I hope that SSPX is reconciled, does achieve a Canonical Status and its Priests are authorised to legitimately exercise ministry in the Church but at the moment it is not and they are not. Therefore SSPX is outside the Church and no amount of hair splitting sophistry can get round that fact

Whats Up! said...

Mr Addison.

Again, Current Canon Law allows for a Catholic to fulfill his obligation at an SSPX Mass.

If this were not so the Society would be outside the Church, but it is so
Rather I believe you are confusing the state of being a non Catholic with a Catholic without a canonical standing.

Neil Addison said...

Can I just add one other point to the SSPX negotiations (or whatever you call them)

If SSPX does not reconcile with the Church under this Pope then it is unlikely that the next Pope is going to bother. SSPX will be regarded as being like the "Old Catholics" who split from the Church in 1870 ie a schismatic group dealt with like all other Christian Churches as part of the Ecumenical work of the Church. I think even the Traditionalists in the Church will decide that enough is enough and everyone simply has to forget the SSPX and get on with restoring tradition within the Church without them.

And before anyone says that the SSPX is not in schism let me point out that if itis not now then certainly it will have to be within the next ten years.
SSPX has 4 Bishops aged 54 Fellay, 55 Galarretta, 67 Tissier, 72 Williamson
therefore in the next 10 years it is going to have to face up to needing to ordain some new Bishops. If SSPX is not regularised then those Bishops will not be authorised Catholic Bishops.

When the 4 were ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre he was without any doubt a legitimate Bishop of the Catholic Church albeit performing an unauthorised and hence illicit (NB NOT invalid merely illicit) ordination.

Arguably that was an act of Schism but if those illicitly ordained Bishops go on to ordain illicit Bishops of their own then there can be no doubt that a formal Schism will exist.

SSPX has to realsie that this hair splitting "will they, won't they" dance simply cannot go on indefinately.

Tradiate said...

@ A journalist...

Look up what the SSPX has to say regarding Catholic doctrine.

Compare it to what the Catholic Church has taught for 2000 years.

And then just call them Catholics who are trying to remain faithful and save their souls.

Tradiate said...

don pierluigi said...
"...Canon 751: schism is the refusal of submission to the supreme pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him. ...

Does this then mean that anyone who has refused to go along with the abuses of Modernist Bishops etc. (done in the name of V2) is now outside the Church? They were not going along with the new way of doing things and thus indicating a lack of "communion" with them.

What about the case of a bishop or Cardinal who did not attend Pope John Paul II's Assisi meetings if asked to do so? They were guilty of disobedience then.

Does this make them schismatic?

Canon 1323 states:

The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:

4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;


7/ a person who without negligence thought that one of the circumstances mentioned in nn. 4 or 5 was present.

So, referring to #4 and #7 especially, Archbishop Lefebvre could not be penalized if he even thought that there was a state of necessity. Given the situation of the Church, one can argue that there was grave necessity.

Let me also repeat that Archbishop Lefebvre made it clear during the ceremony that he continued to recognize the Pope, and did not wish to make an act of schism. That he did this because of grave necessity.

That was then, this is now.

Is there necessity today?

Look at the facts.
There are in the documents of V2 certain ambiguities and statements which are not in keeping with what the Catholic Church consistently taught for 1900 years prior.

Catholics are still told that we must accept these teachings, the imposed Liturgy, and numerous scandalous actions of Church leaders (actions that are objectively gravely sinful matter) such as particpating in false worship and calling these acts legitimate forms of worship.

We must accept these things in order to be "Catholic" (or so +Di Noia states in his recent interview) ... you have to believe that the Church cannot error to be Catholic. Yet Vatican I set forth the conditions necessary for the protection of the Holy Ghost. Apart from this protection, men can follow their free will.

The current hierarchy does not show how these things can be in keeping with former Church teaching.

We are simply told, "you have to see all these things in continuity with previous Church teaching"


Previous Church teaching condemns these things. This does not mean all of V2 or subsequent  teaching etc. is wrong. For further clarification see John Lamont`s excellent article (A THEOLOGIAN'S QUESTIONS):

I was present at a meeting of bishops and laity to discuss the possibility of having the TLM.
The bishops made it very very clear that the condition was the TLM had to be regarded as only another way of worship, not better than any other form of worship in the parish. Then they went to the trouble of listing all the other "options" out there...including the most outlandish.

The people were told they had to be good with this, otherwise they would be "divisive" and the bishops could not tolerate divisiveness in their dioceses.

I cannot in conscience go to the "allowed" TLM under those conditions, unless I had no other option. Further, I believe that the SSPX needs support in their fight for the restoration of the Faith.

The crisis of the Church is a crisis of Faith. I'm glad that there are people leaving the Novus Ordo and going now to the "allowed" TLM, but it is the SSPX that was working with Rome to resolve the issues of Doctrine. They are going to the root cause of the crisis in the Church.