Rorate Caeli

UPHELD: Williamson exclusion maintained by SSPX General Chapter

Now that the matter has unfortunately been leaked and made public in the usual forums in which leaked documents magically appear, Rorate is independently able to confirm that the exclusion of Bishop Richard Williamson as a member of the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) was upheld by an overwhelming majority of the capitularies currently assembled in midterm General Chapter taking place in the International Seminary of Saint Pius X, in Écône (Valais), Switzerland.

The news of the exclusion of Bishop Williamson by the SSPX Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, "due to his stand calling to rebellion and for continually repeated disobedience," was first confirmed by another leaked letter sent by the General Secretary of the SSPX, Father Thouvenot, on June 25, 2012, which was leaked in the same usual forums on the very same day it was received. The ruling was questioned by Williamson himself, who appealed to the Chapter, whose members subsequently voted, in a secret ballot, to uphold the measure adopted by the Superior General.

The decision seems to show that the Superior General has kept his authority within the SSPX in these decisive months of discussions and decisions regarding the Society and the Holy See.


  1. In 2006, Father Paul Aulagnier, an historical figure of the SSPX, the first seminarian who followed archbishop Lefebvre, appealed to the general chapter. He was also excluded by a large majority. Some are excluded because they want to speed up the agreement. Others are excluded because they want to delay it. Right and left...

  2. 29 x 9. It seems to confirm what had previously been reported: that at the summit of the SSPX there were 25 % anti-Fellaysians, 25 % pro-Fellaysians, and 50 % "legitimists" (those who'll follow the leader wherever he goes).

  3. Is this just a PR thing, or does +Williamson really pose some sort of obstacle to the Society?

  4. This augurs well for the authority of the Superior General within the SSPX.

    It is becoming clearer that there is not going to be any attempted coup. For that, Deo gratias.

    Bishop Williamson's appeal to the General Chapter against his exclusion also suggests he is looking for support, but is unlikely to find any.

  5. 29 to 9 sounds like a good result in any kind of sports discipline...

  6. If this is true - wrong decision by the General Chapter.

  7. Whatever one's take on this, it is really not surprising, seeing as the General Chapter is composed mostly of +Fellay appointees. It stands to reason that if +Fellay distrusts +Williamson and the latter's views, he would not appoint men so sympathetic to +Williamson.

  8. " ... wrong decision ..."

    Based on what?

  9. Will Bp. Williamson have to declare a state of emergency and start his own General Chapter?

  10. The Society Chapter is not the Society itelf and Bishop Williamson was never more than a gadfly. The real threat to +Bishopo Fellay's leadership comes and has always come from the other two bishops.

    It is hardly surprising that the Chapter supported Bishop Fellay, as he hand-picked a large number of its members. It will be more interesting to see if he can govern the Society effectively in the face of any challenge from Bishops Tissier and de Galarreta.

    Meanwhile, Bishop Fellay has a problem to contend with. He has said that the Pope's latest 'evaluations' are "[clearly unacceptable]", and yet he has also committed to more talks with a C.D.F. now headed by Müller (I refer to a communiqué issued by the C.D.F. just before Levada departed: he agreed to keep talking). He will also likely be asked in Chapter why the 2006 Chapter undertaking was violated: not to proceed with a canonical structure until outstanding doctrinal disputes had been resolved. Not even one of them has been resolved, and Bishop Fellay said publicly on several occasions that he would not negotiate for a canonical structure until they were. Then he admits in public that he may be prepared to accept a structure in which all future Society aposolates need the approval of the local bishops. His response, as we all recall, was that "That's the law of the Church" and "We don't live in a perfect world". Or did I miss the nuance in the original French?

    For some years, Bishop Fellay asserted that he would never allow Rome to divide the four Society bishops. He said this repeatedly during the Castrillón Hoyos years. Now one of the four bishops is cast out of Chapter, and the other two have been excluded from the negotiations. We see a divide and conquer outcome, as we see division in the I.B.P. just after Msgr. Pozzo paid it a little visitation and demanded changing its seminary programme.

    Let us pray that the Society will be united and will not in any way compromise its traditionalist position in any talks with +Müller.


  11. Bishop Williamson has nobody but himself to blame. He has constantly tried to sow division in the SSPX and caused them so many problems with his silly comments. The vast majority SSPX Mass goers I know have no time for him at all and wish hwould just go.

  12. Quis me custodiet:

    You might also put that q. to Fr. Laguérie, eh?

    Starting one's own Society requires real commitment. A number of bloggers here have recently asked me to help them start a new blog on this subject, but I salute N.C. and the other moderators for showing the patience and committing the time to this one. It must be a very considerable undertaking.


  13. May God have mercy on those participating at those two forums, they desperately need it.

    They are blinded by their astonishing arrogance to the terrible harm they are doing to their own.

    There is no logical reason for the rift -- it has been demonstrated that there is no betrayal in the works.

    The Society needs to unite.

    A weakened Society is of no benefit to anyone.

  14. Before this Chapter meeting ends, I hope that its members will respond to the appointment of Archbishop Müller and the two statements of Archbishop Di Noia. The first appointment and +Di Noia's statements can be seen as distancing manœuvres from Rome. Therefore, the Society should insist that Rome recognise its clerics as Catholic, with all the canonical effects appertaining thereto, before any further talks continue.

    In exchange, perhaps the Society would agree in Chapter to negotiate on the "principles and criteria" of doctrinal interpretation, and on the canonical structure, prior to reaching agreement on the doctrinal disputes themselves. They could also ask for provisional faculties pending regularisation, the provision being that they continue to negotiate in good faith on these matters.

    With all the bad things coming down the pipe from Rome, Rome can now 'afford' to grant something to the Society without causing ageing liberal bishops to bawl and bitch and slam their hands on the ground and pull out their hair.

    It is time for the other shoe to drop. Should it not, there should be NO discussions with +Müller and +Di Noia. Bishop Fellay needs to sell a policy to his own Society if he would continue to bargain with Rome in secret and not in unity with his fellow bishops.


  15. Pktp,

    "...He will also likely be asked in Chapter why the 2006 Chapter undertaking was violated..."

    I do believe that we already know the answer from one of the leaked letters.

    "...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? ..."

    IMHO: This is a solid principle in dealing with Rome.


  16. Tradical:

    What legtimate will? This will was known from long before 2006, and so it has nothing to do with Bishop Fellay's undertakings. Do the 'evaluations' of the Pope fulfil this will? No, Bishop Fellay finds them to be "unacceptable". Do the statements of +Di Noia or the positions of Levada suggest this will? How about the appointment of Müller? Perhaps the insistance of Msgr. Pozzo that the I.B.P. teach Vatican II nonsense in its seminaries?

    He undertook to resolve doctrinal disputes before negotiating a canonical structure, and this position was adopte in Chapter in 2006. He also mentioned it publicly many times. Chapter may want an explanation which explains what has CHANGED since 2006 to make the policy change.


  17. Louise is incorrect. I attend a SSPX chapel of good size and have never heard one soul speak against Bp. Williamson. For that matter, few speak of the current controversies at all as they are mostly large families with no time to spare for internet surfing. Most assume that the Society will continue on as always, and won't make a move unless they see an imminent threat to their children.

    The rather foul accusations constantly thrown at Bp. Williamson on this forum are an interesting reflection of the world's lack of tolerance toward any person who upsets their comfortable world view or who brings down the world's opprobrium on their circle. Time will tell whether the Bishop has been correct all along.

  18. Rocco's required rhinoplastyThursday, July 12, 2012 at 11:47:00 PM GMT

    The plot thickens!

  19. St. Helen,

    I also attend a large SSPX Chapel that serves as a priory. At one time Bishop Williamson had a lot of supporters here. He is the one that has regularly done our confirmations. For sometime now most have lost respect for him and no longer view him seriously. This has nothing to do with Bishop Fellay. This started well before anything with Bishop Fellay. This is a result of his own public remarks, his behavior, his blog, and his associates.

  20. PKTP,

    I believe you are mixing a number of temporally related events. (I'm certain that you'll correct me if I'm incorrect)

    I break the principle down like this (my paraphrase):

    Pope asks you to do something
    no compromise of faith,morals etc is asked


    it confers an obligation to obey.


    No can do


    "...this will was known ..."

    Up to recently, the 'AND' statement has not been fulfilled, because the requirement to 'accept the council' was always attached. (Just started re-listening to 'Roman Reflections')

    Somehow, don't know how, the Pope made a communication to +Fellay fulfilling the 'AND' clause.

    This is what changed and the principle is the reason 'why' he agreed to discuss and pursue a canonical solution prior to a doctrinal one.

    Regarding the latest version of the doctrinal declaration obviously the "AND" clause is no longer true.

    Everything that came afterwards (+Muller, +Di Noia) is irrelevant to the principle as the 'AND' clause was already logically 'FALSE'

    If the Pope were to present to +Fellay at the end of the Chapter a copy of the SSPX's original doctrinal declaration and his approval of it (in spite of +Mueller, Di Noia, Levada et al) and say "I want you to accept the regularization, I accept your Doctrinal Declaration as Catholic and do not require you to accept the council, say the N.O. etc". +Fellay would have, again, an obligation to obey.

    To not do so in this condition undermines the 'supplied jurisdiction' that the SSPX is operating under.

    The principle holds in the current state and a future 'regularized' state of the SSPX (whenever that happy event may happen in this Pontificate or some future one).

    Is there a problem with the logic?

  21. Well I am saddened, I really like & admire +Williamson's perspective. On that note, I also respect the position of +Fellay and agree the real division/opposition will not come from the +Williamson camp, if their is such a thing, but from the other two bishops whose writings are relatively unknown in the English speaking world.
    We are all different to Gods' making, therefore we all have/hold different points of view and opinions. It is unfortunate that personal positioning allows some to benefit based upon popular thought, rather then the objective facts.
    In the end, I really hope those who leak these details are taking stock in their personal Souls, not sure it can be healthy divulging so much discord, whether you agree with it or not.

  22. Tradical:

    Nice try. But it won't fly. And you should know better.

    If the Pope asks you to do something and the doing of it could compromise the Faith and lead souls astray you are NOT obliged to do it, and you may be obliged to resist it. The Society has constantly maintained that unity with Rome is a danger to souls because Rome is no longer protecting the Faith; on the contrary, she favours or at least tolerates heresy everywhere, and with disastrous consequences.

    John Paul II offered the S.S.P.X complete freedom under an acceptable canonical structure as early as 2000. The offer was renewed in 2002 and 2006, and he never oblilged them to accept anything. We all forget here that it was the S.S.P.X which insisted on some form of doctrinal agreement all along, not Rome. Have you forgotten that? Rome was willing to resolve the doctrinal problems AFTER having conferred the structure. So the Pope has made the same essential offer since 2000 (except that the current one is canonically much less). Therefore, nothing has changed since 2006, when Bishop Fellay agreed in Chapter not to seek canonical regularisation until all doctrinal issues had been resolved. If Fellay has subsequently said something contrary to that, then he has contradicted his earlier position. In any case, Chapter in 2006 made a decision on policy and he has violated it.

    Now it may be that the Pope threatened him with certain unknown consequences. We have this papal statement in April that Fellay's alteration of the Preamble was "not sufficient" and that certain unpleasant and very regrettable consequences would follow if this were not addressed. Remember that statement? However, if conditions have changed, he needs to explain this to Chapter, esp. since the Society founders were quite willing to accept even declared excommunications in order to safeguard the Tradition of the Faith.

    Look, he undertook to solve the doctrinal problems before accepting the canonical structure, and undertook to negotiate in unity with the other Society bishops. He has broken his word on both provisions. The Chapter, I expect, will want to know why.


  23. Williamson still is, at his core, Protestant. Had he lived Nader Pius X he would have found a reason to rebel.

  24. PKTP said:

    "For some years, Bishop Fellay asserted that he would never allow Rome to divide the four Society bishops."

    He hasn't. I'm afraid Bishop Williamson did this to himself.

    At this point I cannot see why every priest is not behind the bishop. He has made no compromise on principles and is only speaking with Rome and the Pope. While we must be cautious, unless one is a sedevacantist, there is nothing wrong with that. Religious obedience is not blind...but always wishes to give the benefit of the doubt to the superior. In this case, Bishop Fellay has more than earned that benefit over 18 faithful years as Superior of the SSPX. The public rants of some priest are grossly insubordinate and scandalous.

  25. We might now consider what Bishop Williamson could do.

    1. He could leave the S.S.P.X, perhaps taking some hardliners with him.

    2. He could excoriate Fellay in public, giving Fellay the excuse he needs to expel him from the Society. Some hardliners would likely leave as well.

    3. He could keep quiet and retire, assuring his isolation in the Society and losing all influence.

    He won't do #3. He's too impulsive. He believes that he is needed to safeguard Tradition. As he said in an interview many years before this pontificate began (reported in The Remnant), the S.S.P.X is just the best vehicle right now for protecting the Church's true mission, and other vehicles might be better in future. This was seen even then as a warning/threat to Bishop Fellay.

    If he leaves or is cast out, then, he'll likely see a need to consecrate at least two potential successors and start his own Society. It might join up with the C.M.R.I. or S.S.P.V. These groups, like the Anglican sliver schisms, divide and merge, divide and merge, divide and merge. Their irrelevancy angers their members, who then blame each other for all their troubles, keeping them small and ineffective.



  26. PART II

    Williamson's problem is that he lacks the spritual stature in the Church of an Archbishop Lefebvre. Lefebvre was Archbishop of Tulle, Superior-General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, a reputable and very large society of priests, and even Apostolic Delegate for all of Africa at one time. He was a giant from a family of leaders, his cousin being a cardinal. His father was murdered by the Nazis for being a member of the Resistance but was so as a royalist, not a communist. Something tells me that Müller's father was not a royalist but I can't say.

    None of Lefebvre's successors has his standing. None of them could create ab ovo a S.S.P.X.

    So now Rome will have achieved her goal here, which was to sanitise the S.S.P.X by removing Williamson and other extremists who will follow him. In particular, W. committed the one unpardonable sin, which is not the committal of abortion or the rape of little boys but anti-semitism. They who must be obeyed were not amused, and this Pope will do anything to please them, even to the point of reforming the ancient Latin Liturgy on their behalf (and yet they are not satisfied with his changes).

    Williamson's fault was not anti-semitism per se, for +Tissier has just as much of that as he. No, it was his insistence on being as public about it as possible; his desire to provoke and bait. As Sir Humphrey would and did say: truth is irrelevant: only appearances count. Well, the appearance was that W. was a strident hater of Judaism, and this Pope could not and would not permit that in the Church.

    Once the Society is sanitised of these sorts, the extremists of various brands, the Pope's will suddenly 'soften' his position a bit on principles and criteria of doctrinal interpretation, and soften it under Müller, who can never be accused of being orthodox. Then will come the real test. Will Fellay accept a canonical structure which will subordinate the S.S.P.X to the local liberal bishops? If he does so, how many Society priests will choose to give up their comfortable livings to follow Williamson? But if all new Society apostolates will require pemission from the local bishops, the Society will be pacified and becomes as pliable and as uncontroversial as ... the F.S.S.P.

    Of course, once W. consecrates bishops without a papal mandate, he will be re-excommuniated, along with those whom he consecrates. In fact, his whole gang just might be excommunicated for schism at that point.

    As for the S.S.P.X, +Fellay had better be careful about what he signs. Innocent-looking principles and criteria have a way of having shocking and unexpected consequences down the road when they are applied by tricksters in the curia. But, of course, the Church will be different once all the Müller's have retired and are gone, so perhaps this is less of a concern. We can at least hope that, if you can't take the liberalism out the principles and criteria, you can take it out of the prelates themselves in just a few years.


  27. Long Skirts:

    I'm not defending Williamson's behaviour but the fact is that Bishop Fellay made two important undertakings and has violated both of them. On the one you mention, he did not just cut out +Williamson but the other two bishops as well. He had undertaken to negotiate with Rome in unity with all the Society bishops, knowing that they must remain united. Division is deadly. Every negotiator knows that, if you can divide your opponent, you can dominate.

    Bishop Fellay said repeatedly that Rome would not divide the four bishops, and he complained publicly several times that the Pope and Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos were trying to divide them.

    As we now know from the leaked letter of April, all three of the other bishops oppose Bishop Fellay's proposal to seek a practical agreement before doctrinal issues are resolved. He undertook not to do that, and the 2006 Chapter meeting made this policy official. There is nothing Tradical can do somehow to rationalise this. We (or at least the Society Chapter) deserves an explanation for what he has done, especially since his efforts have so far ended in failure.


  28. Gravitas:

    You could not be more mistaken. It's the other way around: Williamson was Catholic in his nature from conception but was unfortunately born into the wrong side of the Reformation. He found the Faith which was in his nature all along and therefore converted materially, not spiritually.

    Williamson qualifies as Catholic in a mediæval way rather than in the blind obedience post-Tridentine kind of way. I prefer the Middle Ages, the Ages of Faith. I saw in my own school how the humble and obedient Brothers blindly did everything Paul VI told them to do. The result is that they suffered a 99% decline from 1965 to 2000. They are now almost extinct. That's not Catholic; that's suicidal.

    But I'd go Further. Absolute monarchy as a model for the papacy or for government of any kind is not Catholic; on the contrary, it is the Protestant model of absolutism of the 18th Century. The Catholic model is NOT absolute and was expounded by Bossuet. BISHOP Bossuet, that is. It is the Vatican II blind obedients of the sixties--the so-called 'conservatives'--who are Protestant in spirit, not the Williamsons and not traditionalists.


  29. Even if the Pope agreed with the Soviety on doctrinal matters and allowed their edits to the preamble, and then gave them a universal structure under no local ordinary, Williamson still wouldn't go along with it. He is his only authority.

  30. PKTP : the Pope will suddenly 'soften' his position a bit on principles and criteria of doctrinal interpretation

    It's not the Pope creating any of this doctrinal hand-wringing.

    The Bishops were, and I wish that more people would keep this in mind more often than they do, excommunicated for disciplinary reasons, not doctrinal.

    The motivation for the rebellion was doctrinal, but the doctrinal reasons provided do not constitute a justified reason for a rebellion, notwithstanding that they are amply constitutive of reasons for a serious, traditionally-minded debate in the Church about the related questions.

    The Pope, meanwhile, has already indicated hiw own satisfaction with the doctrinal positions of SSPX as presented to him by Monseigneur Fellay.

    This is because there is nothing whatsoever that is illicit in the theology of the SSPX.

  31. I rather like Bishop Williamson and I pray for him. Did I type that out loud? Oh no, heavens-to-betsy.

  32. Bishop Williamson never really left his Anglican roots. And perhaps he never actually converted formally. It's possible that ABL just took his word for it that Bp. Williamson actually converted. Maybe he didn't. Bp. Williamson has great animosity for the Pope and Rome, just as the most staunch of Anglicans do.

    Pope Benedict himself wrote that Bp. Williamson never really spent time in the Church, and that he went over to Lefebvre right after he converted. I believe that Bp. Williamson doesn't really understand Catholicism at all. How could he? He's never spent any time among non-SSPX Catholics.

    That being said, he is in need of prayers more than anyone I can think of. He is very confused.

  33. PKTP,
    "...Society founders..."
    Interesting, I always thought that Archbishop Lefebvre was the founder of the SSPX.

    "...won't fly..."
    You didn't look at the 'AND' clause very closely did you?

    Extrapolating from the current events and statements, I have presented what I believe to be the reason why ('AND' clause = TRUE) and the rationale - the principle.

    So, in your opinion where is the logic presented faulty?

    What I have presented is the rationale as presented by Bishop Fellay and I find it reasonable.

    The details we will never know or rather should not know unless someone breaks their vow.

    Although, I do agree that the interesting point to know would be how the 'AND' clause was put into the 'TRUE' state.

  34. JabbaPapa:

    On your final claim: that is heresay. We don't know where the Pope stands. The word of Fr. Lombardi was not definite but only an impression of his. I hope that you are right, but I have no reason to think so.


  35. Did Campos have to sign on to such a thing as the Preamble? If not, then why does the SSPX have to do so?

  36. Marsaili said: "I believe that Bp. Williamson doesn't really understand Catholicism at all. How could he? He's never spent any time among non-SSPX Catholics."

    Perhaps if he had spent the time he would understood Catholicism even less... :)

  37. Woody:

    The priests of Campos sent the following letter to Pope John Paul II on August 15, 2001, shortly before the reconciliation:

    "Most Holy Father,

    In the name of our Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Faith, we have endeavoured to hold fast to the holy doctrinal and liturgical Traditions which the holy Church has handed down to us, and, according to our feable strength and with the help of God's grace, to resist against what your predecessor of illustrious memory, Pope Paul VI has called the "autodemolition" of the Church. This is how we hope to best help your Holiness and the Holy Church. (...)

    We have always considered ourselves to be in the Catholic Church, from which we have never had the intention to separate ourselves, notwithstanding the situation within the Church and the problems which have affected traditionally-minded Catholics, problems well-known to Your Holiness which, we believe, fill your heart as ours with sorrow and with anguish: and yet juridically we have been considered to be living at the margin of the Church.

    Here, then, is our request: that we might be accepted and recognised as Catholics.

    Your Holiness has preceded our desire in charging His Emminence, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the most worthy Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Clergy, to proceed with the juridical recognition of our position as Catholics in the Church. How grateful to Your Holiness we are for this!

    We request, officially, to be able to collaborate with Your Holiness in the work of the propagation of the Faith and of Catholic doctrine, with zeal and for the honour of the Holy Church - 'a standard set up unto the nations' (Is. XI: 12), in the battle against the errors and the heresies which threaten to destroy the Barque of Peter - though in vain, since the 'gates of hell shall not prevail against it'.

    We place our profession of the Catholic Faith in the august hands of Your Holiness: we profess perfect communion with the See of Peter, of whom Your Holiness is the legitimate successor. We recognise your primacy and government over the Universal Church, its pastors and its faithful. We declare that we do not wish to be separated from the Rock upon which Jesus Christ has founded His Church for anything in the world.

    (Asking the Apostolic blessing, etc.)"


  38. Long Skirts:

    As P.K.T.P. said - it is not only Williamson.

    There is also division between bff. Tissier&Galarreta on the one side and Fellay on the other.


    If the Pope agreed with the sspx [well, not the Soviety, of course ;-)] on doctrine?! Then of course B. Williamson would go along with it. Then the Church-crisis were really ending! The whole situation would be totally different.

    The only reason Williamson (and Tissier and de Galarreta) are not willing to go along is that the Pope does not agree with the sspx on doctrine and also - as P.K.T.P. explained correctly - because there was an agreement within the sspx not to become regularised before this agreement on doctrine is reached.

  39. "Williamson qualifies as Catholic in a mediæval way rather than in the blind obedience post-Tridentine kind of way."

    Some shoddy history here.

    "Ubi Petrus, ibi eccelesia"--Didn't know St. Ambrose was "post-Tridentine"!

  40. Woody: "Did Campos have to sign on to such a thing as the Preamble? If not, then why does the SSPX have to do so?"

    Campos never stood by its promise to say the TLM exclusively. H.E. Rifan doesn't seem to have any problem concelebrating the Novus Ordo, so he's much less of a "threat" than the Society.

  41. Adfero:

    There was no promise of Campos to say the T.L.M. exclusively. The promise was that its priests would not be forced to say the T.L.M.--and they have NOT been forced. Look, Bishop Rifan freely chose to concelebrate NewMass. Nobody--I repeat, nobody--forced him or could force him, to do so. He did it to gain access for his priests to other dioceses outside his safe territory. But no one forced it.

    Woody: Ironically, the reason the S.S.P.X has to sign a Premable is its own fault: it was the S.S.P.X that insisted on some form of doctrinal agreement before structure. Rome had asked all along that the structure be conferred first.


  42. The decision to exclude Bishop Dick Williamson from the Society was the right one. Bishop Fellay and the Society more generally have displayed genuine prudence in taking this course of action. We all ought to be grateful, and hope firmly for, continuing leadership in these difficult times.

  43. Mike,

    What I meant is that a false understanding of obedience as blind trust is largely a mark of post-Tridentine Catholicism and is often misrepresented as a mark of universal Catholicism. A healhier approach to the true meaning of obedience could be found in general in the Middle Ages. I suspect that the 'my pope right or wrong' attitude was a reaction to the Protestant Schism, which stressed constant analysis of everything and anything, almost as an obsession.

    I have seen throughout my own life how this uberobedience--especially since the 19th century--has ushered in the Vatican II Revolution. Whatever came from Paul VI was accepted by many without question, without consideration, without even a contrary thought. This resulted in disaster.

    Many whom I knew at the time thought that it was our duty to render an absolute and unquestioning obedience. Those who did question it were looked upon almost as traitors to the faith. I remember a certain family from my school days. The family supported the S.S.P.X. in its foundations days. They were regarded almost as pariahs. People whispered things such as 'schismatic' behind their backs and treated them almost as if they were pagans or witches. I was too young to understand it all at the time. The boy from that family who was a year younger than I was disliked and isolated. Fortunately for him, he had certain defences, such as very high intelligence (honour roll), and many brothers also in the school.

    Anyway, this insane spirit of blind obedience led, in my experience, to the virtual extinction of some of the religious orders. All the 'quality' candidates stopped applying for membership first, so they had to take in the incompetent, the unblanaced, the inane and the stupid. There was a huge gap in quality between the older Brothers in cassock and the younger Brothers in business suits. Then they had to remove many of those whom they had accepted, and those removed tended simply to disappear as if they had been abducted one night by aliens: they were suddenly gone and no explanation was ever given to anyone. Then they found that there were no new vocations. Then the older Brothers retired and died off. It took about thirty years almost to wipe them out.

    In the Ages of Faith, people actualy thought about what obedience entailled, In more recent times, people have just obeyed. The newer policy worked as long as those at the top had the Faith. But once those at the top had imbibed Modernism, it backfired badly. Pope St. Pius X tried to remove the Modernists. Unfortunately, he died too soon and his successor, Benedict XV, after this present Pope named himself, dropped the ball.


  44. PKTP,

    Just noticed this gem:

    "... There is nothing Tradical can do somehow to rationalise this...."

    Perhaps not in your mind. In my mind it is quite clear.

    (Please no derogatory comments on this, attack the argument not the person.)

    For context, you asked:
    "...He will also likely be asked in Chapter why the 2006 Chapter undertaking was violated..."

    I responded that we likely already know based on the leaked letter which contained the espoused principle.

    Based on this let me see if I understand your point of view correctly.

    The chapter in 2006 made two decisions:

    A. To not pursue a canonical solution without a doctrinal resolution.

    B. To consult with the others or something to this effect.

    You hold this against the principle espoused by Bishop Fellay.

    "...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? ..."

    So the question is:

    Will of Chapter


    Will of Vicar of Christ (in the context as noted in the espoused principle)

    As noted earlier, the decision is crystal clear to me.

    In the absence of a clear and present danger to the faith, a Catholic has an obligation to obedience.

    Obedience is a virtue after all.

  45. Marsaili:

    You wrote: "Pope Benedict himself wrote that Bp. Williamson never really spent time in the Church, and that he went over to Lefebvre right after he converted."

    This is factually incorrect. It is a matter of public record that the-then Mr. Williamson converted in a conservative novus-ordo setting (I believe through one of the Oratories in the U.K.) and tried an "approved" seminary before being kicked out for being too traditional, wherein his conservative spiritual advisor finally recommended that he go to Econe (although I should add that Econe was still "approved" at this time too). Several sources also attest that it was the-then Fr. Williamson's name which was put forth to Card. Ratzinger by ++Lefebvre when they discussed a Bishop for the Society.

    Even the neo-cons of Ecclesia Dei, etc. accept that the SSPX is Catholic. Why do you not do so? On what basis? Why should the Novus Ordo be avoided? And Communion in the hand? And versus populum? Your absolute monarchist, the pope-can-breathe-no-wrong outlook is the Protestant one, a caricature of the real Catholic teaching.

  46. It is striking to see so many express concern for the unity of the SSPX.

    It seems to me the unity of the Body of Christ is what matters most.

    Our Lord made promises to Peter; not to those who are very sure they know better than he.

    Peter is trying very hard to reconcile with his brothers.

    When our Lord prayed, "that they might all be one," do you suppose he meant the SSPX being one, in resisting an appeal from Peter?

  47. Yes, PKTP, I see your point. I am being a bit of a gadfly. (Though I do hold to Ambrose's line.)

    A group you, if I remember correctly, don't like, Opus Dei, in many ways did something like what have counselled--their priests (not their Founder) offer the Novus Ordo, without balloons, clowns, ugly vestments, chatty priests, and free-wheeling, self-made rubrics. In my experience, which is small--there are over 2000of their priests--the offer the New Mass in the spirit of the old.

    Blind obedience isn't part of the Work; rational obedience is. (Is that lived perfectly? Nope...)

    The Vicar of Christ is supreme legislator of the universal Church, and as Benedict XVI has said many times, a servant of Tradition.

    There is more than one way to apply a rubric you don't like.

    I respect the SSPX's position, but the Lord's Church is a large one, and if Trads hate so called neo-cons, what you St. Paul say, nevermind Our Lord?

  48. Fr Martin Fox said:
    "Peter is trying very hard to reconcile with his brothers."

    Umm, yeah. Right.

    With respect, Fr., I'm as pro-reconciliation as they get, but even I can see that the Pope isn't trying all that hard to reconcile with his brothers. The Pope's last two appointments and this constant insistance on the absolute inerrancy of anything that came out of the Second Vatican Council are more or less hostile actions taken in context.

  49. Fr. Martin Fox's comment is exactly right.

  50. Fr. Fox,

    Have you ever read Ratzinger's book Introduction to Christianity? In that book, he denies or casts doubt on just about everything the Church teaches. It is the most heretical vook I have personally ever read. In that book he says "Teihard De Chardin was, on the whole, correct".

    Ratzinger has been a textbook Modernists since at least the 60's. In his recent book he states that history contained in Matthews Gospel is not true. He re-interprets every doctrine by infusing into it a new meaning. The Church is inn a crisis and the crisis - a crisis from the top down. Like a fish, the Church is rotting from its head down.

    It is time for Catholics to face the difficult reaity: A fifth column of Modernism has taken over the Church and the current Pope is one of them. That is very difficult for many to accept, but the sooner you face up to it the better.

  51. La Fraternité Saint Pie X est appelée à changer dans le silence des évictions actuelles. Mgr Williamson est donc là pour le prouver. Si Dieu permet cela, et Il le permet, et qu’il y ait formation d’une nouvelle Fraternité, il y aura alors une déchirure de plus au sein de l’Église conciliaire. On pourrait en conclure que la Fraternité Saint Pie X s’oppose à Dieu en refusant de s’offrir à l’Église, malgré sa corruption.

  52. So Fr. Fox are you saying that you hope for disunity within the Society?

    Why would it be "striking" for you to see that so many are hoping for this prayed for unity?

    This unity is a salutary thing and will be better in the long run when the Society, as a whole, will be recognized by the Holy Father.

    Would you not want to see a brother, in a family, united to his other brother?

  53. "Have you ever read Ratzinger's book Introduction to Christianity? In that book, he denies or casts doubt on just about everything the Church teaches."

    1. Sorry for the sloppiness of my last comment. On the fly here.

    2. Ratzinger's Intro to Christianity takes careful reading. Like a good Germanic professor, Ratzinger takes time to explain a position....which he later disagrees with. I suspect many have read that book, and mistaken positions denied or refuted for the author's.

  54. PKTP,

    Do you have any evidence that Bps. Tissier and Galarreta have a significant following in opposition to Bp. Fellay?

    Any following at all?

    Any interest in opposition beyond the (leaked) letter?

    Since the letter, Bp. Tissier has written of the importance of prudence, even in definitive doctrinal formulations ("who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified"). On its face, this looks like support for the proposition that the acceptance of less than perfect formulations of agreement are sometimes the way to go. The difference between this and the spirit of +Williamson's recent pronouncements could not be more eviden.

    From Bp. de Galarreta, we have heard nothing, which is par for the course. I don't think that he has a very high profile even in Latin America.

    Last but not least, the two bishops have not an ounce of charisma in the journalistic sense, and seem perfectly happy with that.

  55. Marsaili said: "I believe that Bp. Williamson doesn't really understand Catholicism at all. How could he? He's never spent any time among non-SSPX Catholics."

    The following may find me against the wall with a blind fold--it surely would on another forum I frequent.

    Having been members of Society chapels for over 20 years, I find this--cradle SSPXers--to be knotty for my wife and myself It is especially difficult to discuss matters either in person or on a forum with fellow traditional Catholics.. For the most part I am a second class citizen who at best is tolerated.

    When asked, I have come to identify myself as a preVatican II Catholic and unless asked let it go at that. I use to be a 1950's Catholic but all too often was reminded what Bs. Williamson thought of them.

  56. Marsaili said: "I believe that Bp. Williamson doesn't really understand Catholicism at all. How could he? He's never spent any time among non-SSPX Catholics."

    The following may find me against the wall with a blind fold--it surely would on another forum I frequent.

    Having been members of Society chapels for over 20 years, I find this--cradle SSPXers--to be knotty for my wife and myself It is especially difficult to discuss matters either in person or on a forum with fellow traditional Catholics.. For the most part I am a second class citizen who at best is tolerated.

    When asked, I have come to identify myself as a preVatican II Catholic and unless asked let it go at that. I use to be a 1950's Catholic but all too often was reminded what Bs. Williamson thought of them.

  57. Dear PKTP,

    A few years back, someone (I forget the particulars) wrote a book about critics of the Jews. It was sufficiently mainline that it got a favorable notice from Deborah Lipstadt, a U.S. professor whose function in life is to start crying "Nazi! Nazi!" regarding any criticism of Jewish activities, influence, etc.

    The author's evaluation of such critics was that about 25% of them hated Jews, and the rest didn't.

    So I think you should be a little more careful in your use of "antisemite," unless your definition of an antisemite is someone that Jews hate.

  58. Matthew Rose,

    Yes, I believe you are correct that it is presumed that then-Mr. Williamson converted through an ordinary form priest. I've never been able to trace the priest that he supposedly converted through (I can't recall his name at the moment). He was said to be of Irish origin.
    It is presumed that he then was booted out from the orotory, because his views were a bit too radical. He spent less than a year there before going to Econe. I'd like to see proof that he actually converted formally, but that's unlikely to be forthcoming, and that's okay. It's because he supposedly spent less than a year in the Orotory that the Pope said that he never really spent time in the Church before going over to Lefebvre.

    I think that the Pope wants reconciliation very much. But he can't let the SSPX do whatever they want, and to continue to criticize the Pope, the Council, and the OF Mass, which is only reasonable. I believe that it's highly unlikely that the SSPX will reconcile. They would have to develop a new identity, which would be difficult.

    Mr. Rose, I think that you are mixing me up with someone else, because I'm no monarchist, and have not ever written about it on this blog.

  59. Well, we can tell where this website has come down on the possible return to the Church by the Society--nothing like babbling comments about the heretical pope to clear that up.


  60. Dear Peter and Adfero,

    Thank you for your responses to my question and the quotations from the letter that I thought I had remembered. One thing that I was getting at is just now that there seems to be an impasse over the preamble, would not the sending of such a letter ("begging your foregivness for any pain we have caused you, Your Holiness...") be a face-saving device for both sides that would allow a recognition, while kicking the can of doctrinal dispute/clarification down the road (as we Texians would say, subconsciously expecting the can to hit a dead armadillo).

    Perhaps Adfero's comment was intended to suggest that Campos were not in fact as "intransigent" as the SSPX are (or appear to be?) and thus could be accommodated by Rome more easily. And as Peter suggests the preamble results from the SSPX's own insistence on solving the doctrinal issues first. But now that there is not going to be such a prior solution, wouldn't the letter approach be the way to break out of the box both sides are in?

    Of course, if we really are in the last days, then maybe it all does not matter and we should await the final reconciliations that will occur under the pressure of the Antichrist, as per Soloviev. Me, I don't know, but it is raining a lot down here right now, which is so unusual that it must mean something.

  61. Here's a little bit more to what Mike said about obedience in The Work (and I agree with what he said, by the way). I have for one of my unknown reasons become interested in the life and career of one of the early Opus Dei members, Jose Maria Albareda, who accompanied St Josemaria on the dangerous trek over the border, and later was the acknowledged force behind the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Spain under the Franco regime. A very interesting man in many ways, evidently, as suggested by a piece written by some Spanish academic who is likely not even a Catholic, and who clearly sides with the Reds, but who does try to understand Opus Dei, summarizing reasonably well the universal call to holniess and sanctification of work aspects before he gets down to decrying the emphasis on obedience, in the following terms:

    "Many are the principles in Camino [The Way] that demand obedience and trust to the Opus Dei authorities, like number 617, where members are required to obey as tools obey the hand that holds
    them: "Obey, as an instrument obeys in the hands of an artist, not stopping to consider the reasons for what it is doing, being sure that you will never be directed to do anything that is not good and for the glory of God." Or number 619: " Initiative. You must have it in your apostolate, within the terms of your instructions. If it exceeds those limits or if you are in doubt, consult whoever is in charge, without telling anyone else of what you are thinking. Never forget that you are only an agent." Or number 620: "If
    obedience does not give you peace, it is because you are proud"."

    Since, like many who frequent this blog, I struggle with such a strong conception of obedience, I ask myself: isn't it possible that when Saint Josemaria wrote these words, in the late 1930s, there still prevailed within the Church conditions that gave rise to the kind of trust in the the superiors that would justify the pretty much blind obedience being recommended so strongly there in The Way? And so, for all the reasons we know, today the conditions do not give rise to the same level of trust, thus the demands of obedience should be different as well.

  62. The paper on Don Jose Maria Albareda menioned in my last post can be found here:

    One will need to read it with a discerning eye of course, to filter out all the secularist, socialist judgments of the author, but the underlying facts are very interesting.

  63. Those who know little to nothing about Eastern Christianity will not understand Introduction to Christianity. Those who confuse convention with tradition will not understand Introduction to Christianity. Those who never go beyond concepts will not understand Introduction to Christianity.

  64. Allison, you can't tell anything about where "this website" stands on the SSPX and Rome. All "this website" has said officially is to pray for both sides and updated news as we get it and see fit.

  65. Dear Woody. I wonder what Daddy lawyer would have said to his kids were they to have ever told him he was not worthy of their obedience :)

  66. PKTP

    You wrote: "I have seen throughout my own life how this uberobedience--especially since the 19th century..."

    I had no idea you were that old !

  67. Dear Mike:

    I don't like Opus Dei one iota. I remember well how, in the 1990s, those of its priests who dared to offer the T.L.M. were excoriated and even persecuted by the leadership. I know of a case ....

    Moreover, while the most obvious problems with the N.O. are its rubrics, resulting in clown shows and priests arriving at the sanctuary on motorcycles, the deeper problems are its prayers. In particular, E.P. No. 2, the sickening Memorial Acclamation imposed on all the Eucharistic Prayers, the Protestant-in-spirit New Offertory, and the anti-Marian new Confiteor come to mind. The New Mass is valid and fulfils the four ends of prayer but is severely deficient, esp. in its catechetical end. The fact that Opus Dei settled for it in order to secure POWER speaks volumes. Opus Dei can get lost.

    Dear Mr. McFarland:

    I'm not suggesting that the other two bishops are fomenting rebellion but I do think that they are preparing for an eventual replacement of Bishop Fellay. Much will depend on how Bishop Fellay handles the current situation. In the circumstances, the best outcome, as everyone here knows I think, is to move forward with a recognition by Rome that Society clerics are Catholic; but regularisation should be postponed indefinitely. A recognition should be at least desirable by the S.S.P.X because it is not sedevacantist, so one would want to be recognised as Catholic by the Vicar of Christ and Successor of St. Peter, as long as this recognition does not militate against the Society's mission.

    I worry that, for this Pope, that will not be enough. He wants regularisation before this pontificate ends. I think that that outcome is either impossible, on the one hand, or dangerous, on the other. Once regularised, they become subject to rule. But rule in what? If it is to be the rulership of Modernism, that is not acceptable.

    Keep in mind that, at the General Chapter, most capitularies are men chosen by +Fellay and yet a quarter of those present voted to keep +Williamson in Chapter. It is logical to assume that +Wiliamson will have more support in the Society--far more support--outside Chapter than in it.

    You mention +Tissier's comments on compromise. At the end of his ordination Sermon at Winona, he also directly rejected Vatican II as a legitimate Council. On another occasion, he said that Benedict XVI needed to convert to the Catholic Faith. I can find the quotations if you'd like. He has insisted on doctrine first and has publicly said that it will take at least thirty years to effect regularisation--until all the Modernists die off in the curia.

    I think it clear that all three Society bishops have opposed a practical agreement prior to resolving doctrinal issues. Why? Because they said so in the leaked letter of April.

    De Galarreta has no presence? Perhaps. But he led the Society's doctrinal party in the talks of 2009-2011. I've also read his letter regarding Fellay's policies. He is very intelligent and prudent and also quite firm and uncompromising on doctrine. That's why Conciliar Rome could not make headway with him as interlocutor. So, yes, I can see him as Fellay's successor. It could happen.


  68. Joao:

    I apologise for haste in writing. While I do have extreme longevity on both side, I'm certainly not that old! I meant that the 'uberobedience' seems to have reached its full maturity in the 19th century. I grew up in a culture in which the Pope's word was law. One Brother had to explain to us in Grade Eight that infallibility did not apply to the Pope's abilities in mathematics. Years later, I saw a comedy skit in which an actor representing the Pope made a blunder in simple addition and then the thespian cardinals tried to explain it away. All good fun but that attitude got us in this mess.


  69. Dear Mr. McFarland:

    I would say that positions espoused by Bishops Tissier and de Galarreta have a following in the S.S.P.X. As they are bishops and as bishops are rather rare among Society clerics, that would automatically assure them a following. Will that do?


  70. Mr. McFarland writes:

    "Last but not least, the two bishops have not an ounce of charisma in the journalistic sense, and seem perfectly happy with that."

    I'm not sure how much charisma Bishop Fellay has either, but chrisma does not get one to leadership in the Society, I should hope.


  71. Funny enough Bishop Williamson (father at the time) was at the Archbishop's right hand when they expelled those priests in 1984 for going against the Archbishop's orders to accept the N.O. mass...

  72. Thorin:

    No, R. John's comment is exactly right. How I disdain people who refuse to face facts which they wish were not true. Honesty begins with the self. Far worse is the man who lies to himself than is the man who lies to others. Lie to yourself and you lose all sense of reality. How many here simply refuse to read a word written by Benedict XVI or who cannot believe what they do read?

    Yes, this Pope is a theological liberal even if also a liturgical traditionalist. As Mr. McFarland has said so often here, doctrine is prior to all else. Therein lies the current problem. A practical agreement with this Pope might be possible, but is it advisable at this time? To what would the Society be subjecting itself? To rulership from a Müller?

    But one can go too far in this. Given who the Pope is, despite his private theological dispositions, the Society should wish to be as close to him as she can safely be. A recognistion and a commitment to begin a process of discussion makes sense. But regularisation under this pontificate is not reasonable or pruduent.


  73. N.Y.C.

    Yes, you are right. I'm sure that Fr. Cekada could comment on that irony.


  74. "So I think you should be a little more careful in your use of "antisemite," unless your definition of an antisemite is someone that Jews hate."

    >> Oh most excellent Mr. McFarland, the application of your proposed new definition of "anti-Semite" explains such a very great deal.........

  75. Tradical:

    My two longer responses to you somehow did not get posted. I shall try to recall them. Your entire premise after your 'and clause' is false. Therefore, everything following it is false. The problem is not the supposed will of the Pope but the clear failure of the Pope to remove the infection of Modernism from the Church. The salvation of souls is the highest law, and the Society's position is that she must act in rightful disobedience in order to save souls and build up the Mystical Body. The problems have not been resolved because they are ultimately doctrinal in nature. Hence the Society cannot agree to a regularisation until they are solved. So there is nothing which you or Bishop Fellay can do to change the circumstances: the Pope must change them by denouncing Modernism in the Church and throwing the Modernists and other heretics out. If the vine is infected with heresy and the Society agrees to be grafted onto the vine before the heresy is extirpated, the sap from the vine will then infect the Society.

    Nothing substantial has changed in practice since 2006, and Rome has made even better offers under Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. It is the Society that insisted on resolving doctrine first, not Rome. Bishop Fellay promised to resolve the doctrinal problems first. Now you say that the Society mustn't disobey Rome if the Pope expresses a will for reconciliation. Wrong. First, the Pope must correct the doctrinal problems. This may mean clarifying Vatican II documents. In some cases, it may even mean correcting doctrinal, and not merely expresive, errors.


  76. "If the vine is infected with heresy and the Society agrees to be grafted onto the vine before the heresy is extirpated, the sap from the vine will then infect the Society."

    It seems to me that there could not be a more obviously false assertion that the one quoted above.

    The fact that heresies have existed throughout the history of the Church, and yet the Church has defeated them, completely demolishes the assertion......root and branch.

  77. Now you say that the Society mustn't disobey Rome if the Pope expresses a will for reconciliation. Wrong. First, the Pope must correct the doctrinal problems.

    Given that the latter hasn't happened (and won't likely happen in this Pope's lifetime), perhaps we should all break from Rome, eh? Why should the FSSPX be alone in this?

  78. Excellent point, Rick.

    I would add that the Vine is Our Lord Jesus Christ, which makes the assertion all the more poisonous.

  79. "....Louise is incorrect. I attend a SSPX chapel of good size and have never heard one soul speak against Bp. Williamson. ..."

    I also used to attend an SSPX chapel of good size. Bp Williamson's influence, behaviour, associations and statements were the primary reasons that I ceased attending.

    I have encountered a good number of people online and at FSSP Masses who either stopped attending SSPX Masses or who attend less frequently while attending Mass elsewhere; all of whom have stated that their reasons for stopping or decreasing attendance at SSPX Masses are exactly the same as mine.

    Using homilies to propound extremist political polemics....stumbling through Mass and prayers....a complete disregard of the supernatural in matters concerning the faith....wilful and public association with political extremists who trumpet neo-Nazi and white supremacist views.....referring to Rome, the Holy Father and conciliar Catholics as apostates and heretics.....weekly diatribes against +Fellay in the newsletter he persists in publishing, despite the commands of his superior....creating an impression of the SSPX as extremists and promoting the division of the Society.

    Not to neglect the matter of priests who pass confidential Society correspondence to the same political extremists in an effort to whip up public sentiment against the Superior of the Society and those who do not share their opinions

    It seems not to have occurred to them that many will come to the conclusion that a priest who cannot be trusted to obey his sacred vows in certain matters equally cannot be trusted to obey them in others ....the secrecy of the confessional for one.

    There comes a point where reasonable people seek to distance themselves from individuals and organisations who permit such things, which are surely stumbling blocks to the faith.

  80. P.K.T.P:

    I thought Bossuet advocated Absolutism for Governments?

    tirée des propres paroles de l'Écriture sainte:
    Fourth Book – On the characteristics of royalty (continuation)
    First Article. Royal authority is absolute.
    Second Article. On softness, irresolution and false firmness.

    God Bless

  81. "...Your entire premise after your 'and clause' is false. ..."
    I disagree and will explain why I believe my assertion to be correct.

    To make this clear I will phrase it as if you were Bishop Fellay. The Pope is making a direct request of YOU which OBJECTIVELY does not involve sin (compromise of faith, morals etc) for your, the SSPX, or its faithful.

    Objectively, everything seems to indicate that:
    A. No compromise is required for faith, morals, etc
    B. The faithful would remain isolated from the infected members of the Church.

    Objectively, and this is all that you can judge by, you HAVE to obey the Vicar of Christ in these conditions.

    The subjective issues that you have identified ('the clear failure of the Pope' etc), they are subjective because YOU have to make a subjective judgement of the Pope's intentions and effectiveness, are not relevant to this condition. The Pope could be doing NOTHING to stop the crisis in the Church (as you know this would NOT be the first time a Pope has been ineffective in combating heresy), yet this does not change the OBJECTIVE nature of the conditions surrounding the request upon YOU.

    I am not saying that the subjective issues that you have identified are useless, they serve to spur you on to make certain that 'AND' clause is really 'TRUE' in the sense of logic.

    In short the virtues of Prudence and Obedience must be operating at the same time.

  82. PKTP,

    "... Now you say that the Society mustn't disobey Rome if the Pope expresses a will for reconciliation..."

    This is a distortion of the principle as outlined. A 'will' is insufficient, both parts of the clause must be fulfilled.

    "wrong...Pope must correct the doctrinal problems..."

    This is a personal assertion, please provide objective measures that indicate its truth.

    Just as an aside, have you ever considered the possibility that regularizing the SSPX would be the beginning of the "correction of doctrinal problems".

    "...if the vine is infected..."

    Bad analogy. Most analogies limp, this one is on life support.

    First in the sphere of organizational behaviour it is unfounded. When a strong culture meets a weak one, as noted, the stronger ALWAYS dominates. I have witnessed the effects first hand in my interactions with modern Catholics.

    Second, Traditionalist faithful are, in general, insular. Some of us, when called, will debate but in general we're just trying to work out our salvation.

    Third, Traditionalists in my experience have a much deeper knowledge of their faith when compared with the general Catholic population.

  83. PKTP: I see, you mean you were in the room when the Opus Dei Prelate inked the sell-out? Or a close friend was? No?

    Well, in that case, your contempt for the Work is alien to the supreme law of Charity.

    You have my prayers.

  84. PKTP: "...many who seem to be without are in reality within, and many who seem to be within yet really are without..."--St. Augustine

    No doubt you are familiar with the quote. Comments such as yours are often responsible for the dimissal many Catholics give to so-called Trads. I would advise you to re-read St. Paul on the evil of factions in the Church, and write more responsibly and charitably.

    The "good odor of Christ" is not that of a sour pickle.

  85. PKTP: "I know of a case ...."

    Would you like the entire SSPX judged in such a way, with such "weighty" evidence?

    A priest of the Work offered a Requiem Mass for a young man who died in 2001, in DC, and there was zero problem. I know plenty of priests in the Work who have similar experiences.

    "I know of a case..."

    Such imbalanced judgment speaks of fanaticism, imprudence, rash judgment, contempt...anything but the fair-mindedness of a Catholic soul...

  86. Many of the posts here presume Bishop Fellay will sit down once again with Muller and Di Noia and restart the negotiations. Really? A cursory look at the vitriolic remarks made by Bishop Muller toward the SSPX and it's bishops over a very long period of time, would make any intelligent person wonder how Muller will ever agree to Fellay's requirements. The Pope will instruct Muller to work out a deal some say. Really? One only has to have been part of the SSPX chapels in Germany to know the near constant attacks on the SSPX by Muller, to see that this thing is virtually dead for the foreseeable future.

  87. Mike,

    Not to be impolite, but you assume too much.

    I do know of a case and it happened to have been published in "The Latin Mass Magazine" in the early 1990s. I could put aside a few hours to find it for you. It was a case of an Opus Dei priest who was 'caught' (as if he'd been stealing) saying the T.L.M. He was excoriated by a superior in a position of submission, as I recall. He was yelled at for some time. It's been years since I've read it but I'm not making it up. The policy of Opus Dei was very clear prior to S.P.: No T.L.M.s allowed. If you are an Opus Dei priest, you follow the commands of your superiors.

    Opus Dei is mainly after power. Its leaders rightly calculated that it would be 'unwise' to use its personal prelature to spread T.L.M.s. Of course, that points to the problem with the p.p. structure: they had enough bishops already refusing them entry. That would have excluded them even more.

    Opus Dei's purpose was never to bring traditional liturgy to the faithful, even though it does have a neo-con conservative programme. Really, I can't criticise Opus Dei too much because its purpose or end is to organise The Work, not to provide Masses per se. Nevertheless, it is a neo-con organisation, not a traditionalist one. We have over 30 traditionalist societies and orders, so we don't need Opus Dei. If it has softened its stance and allowed the T.L.M., that's fine by me, but I don't particularly like or trust Opus Dei or its founder, and he should not have been fast-tracked. It would have been much better if he'd not been canonised at all. Its Masses are NewMasses, and the New Mass is fundamentally flawed in its prayers regardless of how much you dress it up in tradition.

    If anyone can find the article or story in "The Latin Mass", I'd be grateful. I have all my copies sitting in a large stack in one bookshelf. It's there but it would take time to find it.


  88. PKTP,

    "... We have over 30 traditionalist societies and orders ..."

    Do you include sede-vacantist societies / order in this listing?

    I only counted between a third to half this number.

  89. Tradical:

    I got the vine analogy from someone called Jesus Christ. As for analogies, they're great. They are especially good in logical discourse. I love 'em.

    As for my assertion about the State of the Church, I don't need to support it, for it has long been the assertion of the S.S.P.X. That's why I find it odd that Bishop Fellay has suddenly forgotten it.

    The Church is now steeped in heresy of every variety. Every group of traditionalists which has tried to join this poisoned Rome has been silenced or infected. There was Protocol 1411-99 for the F.S.S.P., the recent little 'visitation' to the I.B.P., the failure so far after four years to find a canonical form for the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, and so forth. It's simple: thanks to the misprinicple of collegiality, the local bishops run the show. If one is subject to them, one is doomed. And yet Fellay was prepared to accept a personal prelature even *without* an exemption from Canon 297. He said it. I'm not making it up. What did he say? It's the law of the Church and We don't live in a perfect world. Great. Let's face reality and just commit juridical suicide.

    The Society has refused offers of regularisation in 2000 and 2002 and 2006 precisely because it did not want to be subordinated to the virus of heresy. Nothing has changed since 2006 to make Fellay betray the undertaking he made not to accept a practical arrangement until the doctrinal talks had been concluded. This 'will' of Benedict is not new, as you allege. It's been there all along. It was there before 2006, before the Chapter meeting of that date.


  90. Lily:

    I think that you are quite right. That's why we can expect 'only' a recognition right now of the Society's status, and not a regularisation of that status. But, as it happens, it is the recognition which matters the most. I will explain that more in due course, as I've done in the past.


  91. Chistopher:

    Royal authority is absolute in its origin. That does not mean that can be tyrannical in practice. No, I am not about to open my Bossuet after ten or fifteen years.


  92. Tradical says this:

    "Objectively, everything seems to indicate that:
    A. No compromise is required for faith, morals, etc
    B. The faithful would remain isolated from the infected members of the Church."

    1. To make a deal with a Rome infused with heresy is itself a compromise in the faith. It puts souls in danger. The Faith must be held in its purity and in no peace with error. Truth and error cannot meet and kiss.

    2. The Society supporters might be isolated from the local bishops but could not be isolated from Rome, to which their structure would be directly subject. (And it is odd that Fellay was prepared to accept a p.p. in which his Society would allow the local bishops to exclude his apostolates!)

    So the solution is to remove the errors of Rome. In any regularisation of any kind, the Society would become subject to Rome in practice. If Rome is infected seriously by error, the error would flow from Rome to the Society. This is precisely why the Societh has long maintained a distinction between Eternal Rome and Conciliar Rome.

    3. This is not necessarily my position, and it doesn't have to be. The point is that it has long been the Society's position, and nothing has changed in that since 2006. So Bishop Fellay had no reason to retract his undertakings. Trying to claim otherwise is sophism.

    It is possible that the Pope threatened him, and there is evidence of that in a Roman communiqué of April, that 'serious and regrettable consequences' might ensue should he not satisfy Rome's requests on the Preamble. Well, if this be so, let him explain this changed circumstance to Chapter.


  93. "If you are an Opus Dei priest, you follow the commands of your superiors."

    PKTP: Well, yeah. Please remember, obedience is the one virtue the devil can not fake.

    Again, I honestly think you're making enemies where they're none.

    In the Work: weekly Confession; daily Mass; Rosary; daily mortification, etc. The formation is Traditional, the outlook, lay.

    If you want these people as enemies, well, so be it. I would bet in 10 years, they will be offering a lot more TLM's.

    Remember: Charity, charity. Truth, yes, but Truth IS Charity.


  94. Also: If you read the life of St. Josemaria Escriva, you may, I hope, realize:

    1. He is a pre-Conciliar reality.

    2. Most of us on this blog are fit to lift his Chasuble.

  95. That would be:

    NOT fit to lift his Chasuble.

    (Ok, no more wine tonight!)

  96. P.K.T.P. wrote:
    "This is precisely why the Society has long made a distinction between Eternal Rome and Conciliar Rome."

    So...where is this Eternal Rome located, exactly?

  97. PKTP,

    "... To make a deal with a Rome infused with heresy ..."

    Unfounded assertion. In other words, it is your personal opinion. Did Athanasius refuse to be reinstated in his See? I don't think so, even though he spent most of time in exile. Every time he could go back, he did!

    If heresy was pushed on the SSPX, then the second 'AND' clause kicks in and the SSPX has to relapse into disobedience. This changes nothing to the objective measures already discussed.

    "... Society supporters might be isolated ... could not be isolated from Rome..."

    I am surprised that you stated this give your knowledge. The PP/Ordinariate would report directly to the Pope. Can't get much better than that.

    "... local bishops to exclude his apostolates ..."

    While he was ready for an imperfect solution here he did indicate that it was something they were still working on.

    "... solution is to remove the errors of Rome..."

    Hmmm, if you are canonically isolated how would you 'remove the errors'.

    "... Bishop Fellay had no reason to retract his undertakings. Trying to claim otherwise is sophism..."

    Sorry dude, here you are dead wrong.

    As noted obedience to a higher authority always has precedence - period endstop - with the noted caveats which in essence are obedience to a higher authority (the Faith etc).

    Regarding 'sophism', none of what you have stated undermines the principle as stated. To accuse me of 'sophism' is a personal attack and way below you.

    Prove to me in objective terms that having a isolated canonical solution is a danger to the Faith.

    Wild assertions just don't cut it in this argument.

    Also don't get me wrong: I'm not hoping for a deal no matter what.

    What I am fighting is the irrational 'Rome has the plague' mentality that people would prefer to sit in their dead-end situation (like the Sede) until some 'miracle' happens.

    The SSPX eventually will be regularized, it would be nice if Rome 'got religion' (joke) but that is not the only way in which this crisis can end.

    Finally, Archbishop Lefebvre had another principle:

    I do not precede Providence, I follow it.

  98. Tradical,

    As an outside observer of the supposed debate that you think you are having with P.T.K.P., I have to say that, based on your responses, you do not seem to understand what P.T.K.P. is saying.

    Please carefully reread his repeated responses to you and try to understand that he is talking about the historical position taken by the SSPX (not necessarily his own view) and the change that Bishop Fellay has taken relative to the historic position of the SSPX.

  99. Woody,

    If (as appears to be the case) the Vatican will not provide a no-strings regularization, there is no other route to regularization. All the scare talk from Bp. Williamson et al. to the contrary, the Society is not going to accept V2; and all the signs indicate that that's a must have for the Vatican.

    If you really want to be scandalized by obedience, take a look at the Rule of St. Benedict. Obedience to superiors is the Catholic way. But obedience assumes loyalty to the Faith and the Church on the part of those in authority. Where that loyalty clearly does not exist, disobedience is permissible, and even obligatory.

    Opus Dei's obedience is different because Opus Dei is different, and not in a good sense. There are a couple of essays kicking around by a former numerary named Dubrot that lay this out very well. Opus Dei insists on obedience, but calls it freedom. As with most other things about the Work, it is hard to decide whether this is sinister, goofy, or a little of both. It is more reminiscent of old-time Communist "centralized democracy" than the Rule of St. Benedict. It is interpretated not as submission of one's will to the will of the superior, but the manifestation of the free choice of the inferior, even when it is no such thing.

  100. Woody : Did Campos have to sign on to such a thing as the Preamble? If not, then why does the SSPX have to do so?

    A doctrinal statement of assent with the Catholic teaching is a necessary act in the context of any lifting of a formal excommunication -- as things currently stand, the excommunications are technically suspended, rather than being fully lifted.

    In most cases, a simple confessio fidei is sufficient for that purpose -- one can however easily understand why the process with the SSPX Bishops is far more involved and doctrinally complex.

  101. Louise, I couldn't agree with you more. The sooner he leaves, the better. And although Bps Tissier de Mallerais and de Galarreta have voiced strong disagreement, I don't believe they will rebel. Besides, Bp Fellay said the latest offer was unacceptable and he could not sign it, so unless the Vatican backs down, the whole discussion about a fracture or mutiny is moot.

  102. If you really want to be scandalized by obedience, take a look at the Rule of St. Benedict. Obedience to superiors is the Catholic way. But obedience assumes loyalty to the Faith and the Church on the part of those in authority. Where that loyalty clearly does not exist, disobedience is permissible, and even obligatory.

    Dear Mr. McFarland. I can;t find such a notion in the Rule of St Benedict although I can find this:

    Of Calling the Brethren for Counsel

    Whenever weighty matters are to be transacted in the monastery, let the Abbot call together the whole community, and make known the matter which is to be considered. Having heard the brethren's views, let him weigh the matter with himself and do what he thinketh best. It is for this reason, however, we said that all should be called for counsel, because the Lord often revealeth to the younger what is best. Let the brethren, however, give their advice with humble submission, and let them not presume stubbornly to defend what seemeth right to them, for it must depend rather on the Abbot's will, so that all obey him in what he considereth best. But as it becometh disciples to obey their master, so also it becometh the master to dispose all things with prudence and justice. Therefore, let all follow the Rule as their guide in everything, and let no one rashly depart from it.

    Let no one in the monastery follow the bent of his own heart, and let no one dare to dispute insolently with his Abbot, either inside or outside the monastery. ...

    Of Obedience

    The first degree of humility is obedience without delay. This becometh those who, on account of the holy subjection which they have promised, or of the fear of hell, or the glory of life everlasting, hold nothing dearer than Christ. As soon as anything hath been commanded by the Superior they permit no delay in the execution, as if the matter had been commanded by God Himself. Of these the Lord saith: "At the hearing of the ear he hath obeyed Me" (Ps 17[18]:45). And again He saith to the teachers: "He that heareth you heareth Me" (Lk 10:16).

    Such as these, therefore, instantly quitting their own work and giving up their own will, with hands disengaged, and leaving unfinished what they were doing, follow up, with the ready step of obedience, the work of command with deeds; and thus, as if in the same moment, both matters -- the master's command and the disciple's finished work -- are, in the swiftness of the fear of God, speedily finished together, whereunto the desire of advancing to eternal life urgeth them. They, therefore, seize upon the narrow way whereof the Lord saith: "Narrow is the way which leadeth to life" (Mt 7:14), so that, not living according to their own desires and pleasures but walking according to the judgment and will of another, they live in monasteries, and desire an Abbot to be over them. Such as these truly live up to the maxim of the Lord in which He saith: "I came not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me" (Jn 6:38).

    This obedience, however, will be acceptable to God and agreeable to men then only, if what is commanded is done without hesitation, delay, lukewarmness, grumbling or complaint, because the obedience which is rendered to Superiors is rendered to God. For He Himself hath said: "He that heareth you heareth Me" (Lk 10:16). And it must be rendered by the disciples with a good will, "for the Lord loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7). " For if the disciple obeyeth with an ill will, and murmureth, not only with lips but also in his heart, even though he fulfil the command, yet it will not be acceptable to God, who regardeth the heart of the murmurer. And for such an action he acquireth no reward; rather he incurreth the penalty of murmurers, unless he maketh satisfactory amendment.

  103. What's Up:

    I have no desire for disunity among the SSPX, but if doing our Lord's will causes divisions in the "family" of the SSPX, isn't that precisely something our Lord said would happen?

    If your family were a non-Catholic, and you began to believe in the truth of the Catholic Faith, would you recommend staying non Catholic in order to prevent disunity in your family? Was Mother Seton wrong in converting?

  104. R John:

    There are lots of books I haven't read, that's one of them. So I shan't comment on it.

    If you ask me to agree the pope is a heretic, then I deny it. It's an appalling claim; that it isn't utterly impossible is not an argument for it's validity.

    There are lots of people who follow a train of thought as it wrecks spectacularly, trying to unravel it, but until I receive further guidance, I think that is not my vocation.