Rorate Caeli

SSPX - Rome: Fellay says, "we are back to the 1974-1975 situation"

The main portion of the sermon delivered yesterday, November 11, by the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bp. Bernard Fellay, in the main church of the SSPX in France (Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet, in Paris), was when, after repeating his view of what happened in the past few months in his dealings with the Holy See, including personally with the Pope himself (as he had done in Écône on November 1), he said the following:

That is, my dear brethren, the situation. And that is why it is clear that, since the month of June - we had announced it at the ordinations -, things are blocked. It is a return to the beginning. We are exactly at the same point that Abp. Lefebvre was in the years 1975, 1974. And, therefore, we continue our struggle. We do not abandon the idea of one day regaining the Church, reconquering the Church for Tradition. Tradition is HER treasure, the Church's treasure. And, well, we continue, expecting the happy day... [sic] it will come, [but] when? We know nothing of it. We will see. It is a secret of the Good God. It will come the day when the chaff is extirpated [note: this is a reference to the Sunday's Gospel of the wheat and tares], this evil that makes the Church suffer. It is probably the most astonishing crisis that the Church has ever suffered, the one we are living.

[Source: La Porte Latine, in French]
[Update: Most of the sermon has been made available in English by]


j hughes dunphy said...

How much great prayer is needed for the Church as it is for the Society, all because of the great failure to teach the truths of the centuries clearly, to govern with the same unhesitating authority in defense of this perennial truth, and to sanctify all the members of the Church in loving ardently this heavenly truth with their whole hearts, souls, minds, and wills in the Mass of the Ages and the most Holy Eucharist.

j hughes dunphy
http://the orthodox roman catholic

Anil Wang said...

Post VII, we had three new "magisterium"s in addition to the Church's true magisterium:

* the "magisterium of theologians" which sprang from the revolt of Humanae Vitae and reinterpreted everything coming out of Rome to mean whatever they wanted to mean.

* the "magisterium of nuns" which sprang from feminist theories

* the "magisterium of lay experts and councils" which saw the Church as a democracy.

The claim is that these "magisterium"s either are equal partners with the "True Magisterium" or are above the "True Magisterium".

Is adding yet another "magisterium", the "magisterium of pre-VII traditionalists" which is above the "True Magisterium" really the answer? Sure the SSPX position provides some balance, but the whole reason we're in this mess is because the "True Magisterium" has been lax in shutting down all other "magisteriums". If some foreign "Magisterium" is able to judge the "True Magisterium", the "True Magisterium" is just a social group and Martin Luther was correct that Popes and Councils can err theologically, and all we're left with are power plays bounded by ad hoc rules that prevent us from loosing our faith in Christianity entirely.

Whats Up! said...

"We are exactly at the same point that Abp. Lefebvre was in the years 1975, 1974."

This is not entirely true.

In 1974-75, the Society [and the Archbishop] was not suspended yet.

Unless Bishop Fellay is saying the suspensions have been lifted.

I fail to undrestand His Excellencys point on this matter.

ben ingledew said...

It's always darkest before dawn. :-)

John McFarland said...

Dear What's Up!

Since Bishop Fellay is well aware of the timeline, either he misspoke, or he was emphasizing the Society and Rome are back to the very beginning of the battle.

It is hard to imagine that he could have meant anything else.

Whats Up! said...

Mr McFarland,

I was speaking wishfully, in that I hope Bishop Fellay knows that the suspensions have been lifted.

McCallum said...

If humans can perceive and practice real truths, with which they can grow in holiness and sanctity, based on reading them (such as certain past encyclicals and other forms of teaching) and attending the TLM, and other traditional practices, then there is no reason for the SSPX to reconcile. If it has always been the case that Catholics do not need to submit to the authority and jurisdiction of the visible Catholic Church in order to be fully Catholic, then the SSPX just needs to admit this, and move on.

Common Sense said...

Dear Anil Wang,

Please consider this:

"At that time, Pilate said to Jesus: 'Art thou the king of the Jews?' Jesus answered, 'Dost thou say this of thyself, or have others told thee of Me?' Pilate answered, 'Am I a Jew? Thy own people and the chief priests have delivered Thee to me. What hast Thou done?' Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My followers would certainly have fought that I might not be delivered to the Jews. But, as it is, My kingdom is not from here.' Pilate therefore said to Him, 'Thou art then a king?' Jesus answered, 'Thou sayest it; I am a king. This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." John 18: 33-37

Truth, and the whole truth. I am only too well aware of how the post-Conciliar Popes, starting with B. John XXIII, attempted to muzzle our mouth and tie our hands behind our backs and fall in line with their newly-invented ideas.

Please look around and see objectively. I recently read how one Protestant pastor lamented the demise of the Catholic Church as he remembered in his youth and the consequences of immoral conduct of so many. Simple and clear, the SSPX stands for the truth of Christ and for the rule of law. We are not interested in useless polemics when the Titanic is really going down.

It's time to act and not to cling to something which is indefensible, like the VII obscurities.

We are not simply adding a "magisterium of pre-VII traditionalists" - we are following the Magisterium of the Ages. Anyone with a sense of honesty and an unclouded mind can clearly see what Bishop Fellay had to say. May God bless the SSPX.

Young Canadian RC Male said...

First of all generally, this is disgusting news on part of the society. All I clearly see is the Devil's pride here, Non Serviam. They've clearly missed the boat again.

And Common Sense,. Mr wang has been, around the traddie blogosphere one of the most balanced and informative commenters on these blogs. One should highly value his commentary and opinions. He takes only the side of our Holy father, not trad nor lie-berals

John McFarland said...

Dear What's Up!

I don't think there are any suspensions, unless you mean the suppression of the SSPX itself in (if memory serves) 1975; and that could only change as part of a regularization.

Since in the Vatican's view, there is not SSPX for its priest members to be incardinated in, there is nothing to suspend them from.

Do you just mean that it sure would be nice if the SSPX were regularized?

In any event, what would make it nice is precisely the reason why it is not happening now, and is not likely to happen soon. The enemies of the faith delivered once for all to the saints still have the upper hand, as the world understands the upper hand.

Anil Wang said...

Dear Common Sense,

I do understand, but there have been 5 Popes since B. John XXIII and every single cardinal, and I believe all bishops in the Catholic Church has been consecrated after VII with full acceptance of VII (although many either wish it never happened or think the implementation was botched or hijacked).

Let's make it plain. Is VII heretical or not?

If it's not heretical but can be interpreted in a heretical way, you are in full agreement with the Pope, and signing acceptance of VII should not be an issue. It doesn't matter if you wish VII never happened or want to roll back all changes since VII and think that the N.O. is irreverant and must be abolished, you can sign in good conscious.

If it is heretical, the entire Church has fallen into heresy and because all bishops within the Church are post-VII, there really is no way for it to recover or even know if this has happened before (e.g. during the Great Schism or Vatican I). The "Magisterium of the Ages" repeatedly has stated that no bishop outside the full communion of the Catholic Church may judge the Church Universal.

To be blunt, if I thought that the Church fell into heresy, I would become Orthodox, since they agree with Eastern Catholics on everything except the Filioque and Pope. They hold onto the "Magisterium of the Ages" except for those two points, and both points boil down to the theological position of the Pope. Objectively speaking, if two institutions that claimed to be "Magisterium of the Ages" differred only by the theological position of the Pope, and one fell into obvious heresy, which would you think held "Magisterium of the Ages"?

John said...


"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying: Go out from her, my people; that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and the Lord hath remembered her iniquities."

-Apocalypse 18:4-5

OKC Catholic said...

RC Canadian Male said:
"One should highly value his [Mr. Wang's] commentary and opinions."

Really? I don't think so. Right now it sounds like Mr. Wang is in denial. He would profit from watching many episodes of "The Vortex" or reading and/or listening to Michael Davies.

Alan Aversa said...

@Whats Up!: Have the suspensions been lifted?

Gabriel said...

Anil Wang makes some good points, but the situation of the Eastern Orthodox is more complicated than what his commentary reveals.

First, while the Orthodox Church has never been unified enough to convene a Council on the matter, the theology of (St.) Gregory Palamas remains, for many Orthodox, a stumbling block to full communion with Rome. Palamas and St. Thomas Aquinas disagree on several fundamental theological points and the Orthodox have overwhelmingly embraced the Palamite position. There are some Eastern Catholics who believe their views can be reconciled or, at least, hold that their theological differences don't rise to the level of a dogmatic difference, but I am not sure that perspective holds among the bulk of the Orthodox Church.

Second, the Orthodox Church almost universally rejects the existence of Purgatory, though there is some nuance in there since the Orthodox, like the Catholics, pray for the dead. Recently Archbishop Hilarion Alfyaev of the Russian Church has tried to sort out this disagreement by arguing for a concept of hell in the Orthodox Church that clashes considerably with the Catholic conception (though, in some ways, comes close to the Catholic conception of Purgatory). Other theologians, like the late Fr. Georges Florovsky, tacitly embraced the existence of Purgatory in his theological writings, though his views have not received wide agreement in the Orthodox Church. I suspect that most of the Eastern Orthodox churches would consider a member who believed in Purgatory to be in serious error, if not heresy.

Third, the Orthodox have a different sacramental understanding of institutions like marriage and the priesthood. Marriage's can be annulled with considerable ease in the East, and the faithful can remarry twice (though the service is different than a traditional Orthodox marriage service). Priests can also be laicized with relative ease and any priest can resign his office without consequence. These may not be serious dogmatic differences, but I suspect that most traditionalist Catholics would frown upon the East's sacramental understanding of these and a few other areas.

Fourth, the Orthodox almost universally reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Part of this flows from a general rejection of Vatican I and the Papacy. There was, for a time, some agreement with the dogma within parts of the Russian and Greek churches, but those sympathies were effectively suppressed by the 19th C. Additionally, the Orthodox reject the dogma of the Assumption, though more for polemical reasons than anything else. The Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God is, for all practical purposes, the same feast/dogma, though you will find many Orthodox who will claim that the Roman view is an "innovation."

Fifth, the Orthodox categorically reject every Saint recognized by the Catholic Church from 1054 onward -- the only exceptions being those Eastern Saints which were "brought over" during the various Eastern church unifications with Rome. To join the Orthodox Church is to reject the sainthood of, e.g., Sts. Francis, Therese, Dominic, Aquinas, etc. (You get the drift.) That's a lot of sanctity to the wayside.

I'll stop there. But I think you get the point.

Common Sense said...

Dear Anil Wang,

You don't really seem to get it. And I don't intend to be patronising. Just because some things are licit and valid, doesn't mean they are good and wholesome. Take, for example, Church-contracted marriage. If all conditions are fulfilled by both parties, obviously these marriages are valid. However, not all of them turn out to be good. And the second Vatican Council is like the marriage which turned out to be rotten and bad.

Albertus said...

One can only agree with Mr. Wang's logic. Either present-day Roman Magisterium is true and to be followed, or the Eastern Orthodox Church. No other institution, person or gruop can claim apostolicity other than these two: the Vatican, or Orthodoxy. Either way, Christ's promise is fulfilled to be with us till the end of the world.

Gratias said...

Go with Mr. Anil Wang on this one. Verbum sapientae.

Gratias said...

Has the SSPX given a formal answer to the most generous offer by Benedict XVI, our beloved Pope? Nope.

This has been a terrible waste of 500 priests, nuns, and faithful who will remain outside of the Catholic Church, possibly for many decades. If Bp. Fellay thinks he might have done better with the next pope it is a costly mistake. Benedict XVI has been a gift of God to the Church.

The perfect is the enemy of the good. In this case good people in this forum that are in or have children in SSPX will be seriously hurt.

For my part I intend to enjoy every day I am guided by our great Pope. May he live long.

Erik said...

The calendar with the mockingbird is priceless! Thanks NC! ;-)

MOT said...

Regarding John's Bible quotation at 12 November 2012 23:39, often utilized by Protestants with regard to the Catholic Church, another Bible quotation is:

si ergo dixerint vobis ecce in deserto est nolite exire

Whats Up! said...

"Alan Aversa said...
@Whats Up!: Have the suspensions been lifted?"

According to the P.C.E.D they are not.

Robert said...

In 1976 Archbishop believed, as recorded on page 347 of Volume 1 of Michael Davies "Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, that, "The reforms claiming to implement the Council were intended to initiate an unprecedented renewal but, since the Council, the history of the Church throughout the West has been one of stagnation and decline; the seeds of this decline can be traced back to the Council itself as those holding Neo-Modernist and Neo-Protestant views were able to influence the formation of some of the official documents by the inclusion of ambiguous terminology which has been used to justify the abuses which are now apparent to all. Thus, while accepting the Council documents as official statements of the Magisterium, we have the right and duty to treat them with prudence and to interpret them in the light of Tradition." This the Archbishop described as "precisely my position."

Moreover, he did not believe the New Mass to be invalid or heretical, as on pg. 348 of the same book.

Moreover, in 1977, the Archbishop offered to accept all of the texts of Vatican II either "in their obvious meaning or in an official interpretation which insures their full concordance with the authentic tradition of the Church." (pg. 349)

So, if we are indeed back to the mid-seventies, one decade before the ordinations and some of the more hardened statements of the Archbishops about Rome, then perhaps we can hope that Bishop Fellay also suggests the position of the SSPX is also more similar to the mid-seventies position of Archbishop Lefebvre.

Why not?

Joan said...

NB: ora et labora..pray and work
1. tradition
2. chaff extirpated

1.St. Paul regarded the traditions to be so important that he persecuted Christians....that is until he was converted to CHRIST THE SON OF GOD

2.CHRIST THE SON OF GOD extirpates the chaff ....

3. How does a soul know she is in the state of grace & part of The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Chuch? Is it because a priest from Bp Felley has stated it in confession ? aDid God give us free will so we would decide what is real? I am a Catholic because I know and follow Catholic traditions and the present authority does not so Bp Felley has authority because I believe he does?
4The soul in the state of graceandin the Catholic be or not to be.... How do you prove it ...what certitude do you have?..... because someone else is doing the wrong thing.....

Catholic Mission said...

When Bishop Bernard Fellay says that they are back to the 1974-75 situation since at that time, as now, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre did not know that the baptism of desire,being saved in invincible ignorance, seeds of the word etc were not exceptions to extra ecclesiam nulla salus and so Vatican Council II did not contradict the SSPX position on other religions.We are still waiting for the SSPX to discover it now.
Implicit baptism of desire is compatible with the literal interpretation of outside the church there is no salvation.

When the SSPX undrstands this Vatican Council II supports their position on other religions etc. Th fault is not with the Council but with their interpretation in 1974 and now.

John McFarland said...

There's an ancient Greek epigram that says: wherever I go in my mind, I meet Plato coming back.

A number of the commentators in this string think that they are one or more steps ahead of the SSPX in dealing with the doctrinal and practical issues between Rome and the SSPX.

In fact, they are at least one step behind the Society; and from there it falls off to those who cobble together their own homegrown theology, and then to those simply don't know what they're talking about.

If they are going to say anything useful, they need to read and understand the SSPX analysis of the situation.

Until they do that, they are adding no value to the discussion, and wasting everybody's time, including their own.

Furthermore, if they -- and any of us SSPX supporters -- cannot understand what the SSPX is saying on any matter, then they have no moral right to have an opinion on that matter.

Whats Up! said...

"John McFarland said...
There's an ancient Greek epigram that says: wherever I go in my mind, I meet Plato coming back.

A number of the commentators in this string think that they are one or more steps ahead of the SSPX in dealing with the doctrinal and practical issues between Rome and the SSPX.

In fact, they are at least one step behind the Society; and from there it falls off to those who cobble together their own homegrown theology, and then to those simply don't know what they're talking about.

If they are going to say anything useful, they need to read and understand the SSPX analysis of the situation.

Until they do that, they are adding no value to the discussion, and wasting everybody's time, including their own.

Furthermore, if they -- and any of us SSPX supporters -- cannot understand what the SSPX is saying on any matter, then they have no moral right to have an opinion on that matter."

Mr McFarland,

Hopefully the Holy See shares the belief in what you just said.
Because Canonically speaking that is all that matters.

To believe othertwise is not Catholic.

David of Glasgow said...

Re Anil Wang's "True Magisterium" Part I

I believe that nothing has contributed more to this terrible crisis in the Church than confusion about the nature of "magisterium". Let it be shouted from the housetops: "the word 'magisterium' is not univocal - it is equivocal!"

If we did this often enough then just perhaps we might begin to see an end to this crisis of faith which is, in many ways, a crisis of reason.

Briefly, the term "magisterium" can refer to two logically distinct and only contingently related things. Firstly, it can refer to the totality of those inerrant teachings taught infallibly by the Church and which are owed the assent of faith. Here we have the magisterium qua object. Secondly, it can refer to the authority of the Pope, and the Bishops in communion with him, to teach as pastors of the flock. Here we have the magisterium qua subject.

Now, the magisterium as the subject that teaches (aka the "authentic magisterium", the "ecclesia docens", the "living magisterium", or the "magisterium of Pope X") may teach the magisterium as object insofar as it, the teaching authority of the Church, engages the charism of infallibility with which Christ endowed His Church. We can know that we have to do with a teaching that pertains to the magisterium qua object (1) when it is solemnly proclaimed by a Roman
Pontiff with or without the Bishops in communion with him (Extraordinary Magisterium); (2) when it can be identified as having been taught "always, everywhere, and by all" (Ordinary and Universal Magisterium); or (3) when it is inextricably bound with a teaching in either of the two former categories.

Outside of this the magisterium qua subject does not engage the charism of infallibly i.e. does not teach the magisterium qua object. This means that in practical terms a teaching of the magisterium that is mere authenticum may be erroneous.

Indeed, we just need to look at the case of Ad totam ecclesiam (AAS 1967) which as Fr Thomas Crean OP notes explicitly contradicts the perennial prohibition of the active participation of Catholics in non-Catholic worship as being an act contrary to natural and divine law. Indeed, a recent study on the responsa of the Holy Office between 1622 and 1939 demonstrates that the magisterium (since the Holy Office was regarded as an organ of the magisterium) had taught consistently over 300 years that

participation in schismatic and heretic worship is "universally prohibited by natural and divine law...[from which] no one has the power to dispense ...[and with respect to this participation] nothing excuses." Those who so participate must seek absolution in the sacrament of penance.

David of Glasgow said...

Re Anil Wang's "True Magisterium" Part II

So, a thoughtful Catholic is faced with a dilemma:

Either, the magisterium was in error for a period of centuries when it taught that the active participation of Catholics in non-Catholic worship was intrinsically wrong.

Or, the magisterium since 1967 has been in error in that it has taught that such participation is not intrinsically wrong.

What's it to be? Can we say that somehow such participation both is and is not intrinsically wrong? Few outside a Zen monastery would attempt such a brazen rejection of the principle of non-contradiction.

We could either ignore the earlier teachings and fall into what Fr Chad Ripperger FSSP has called magisterialism, a positivist mindset. Or we could try to assert that that the Holy Office former prohibition against this particular species of communicatio in sacris was really only an injuction based on the positive law of the Church. But then we would asserting that the Holy Office had taught error insofar as it declared that its prohibition was based on "natural and divine law".

Or do we acknowledge that the Holy Office's century-long insistence that its prohibition against the active participation of Catholics in non-Catholic worship has all the hallmarks of a teaching of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium - particularly as it is corroborated by Holy Scripture, the common opinion of the Church Fathers, and numerous papal allocutions, declarations, and enyclicals before 1967 - and is, therefore, infallible? And if we acknowledge that this teaching is infallible and that any teaching of the magisterium as subject to the contrary must be seen for what it is - as most likely in error and
therefore not capable of requiring the unconditional assent of Catholics?

But it seems that for many here such reasoning is no more than a species of Protestantism, of "private judgement", of setting up an "alternative magisterium" above the "true magisterium". But this, as I said, is based on a complete misunderstanding of the equivocal meaning of what is meant by "magisterium".

Long-Skirts said...

Erik said...

"The calendar with the mockingbird is priceless!"

Yes, and that Cardinal, as many Cardinals of today, looks like he would like to "Kill A Mockingbird"!

Picard said...

David of G:

Excellent, thanks - but do you have a source for the "...universally prohibited by natural and divine law...[from which] no one has the power to dispense ...[and with respect to this participation] nothing excuses."

Is it some concrete magisterial text or a compilation/conclusion of the "recent study" or else? - Thanks!

David of Glasgow said...

Bonjour Picard,

Here is the full text of the relevant paragraph from the article in question with footnotes:

The Holy Office therefore observed that the Council of Carthage forbade praying and singing (psallendum) with heretics.22 The Supreme Congregation stated that participation in schismatic and heretic worship is "universally prohibited by natural and divine law...[from which] no one has the power to dispense ...[and with respect to this participation] nothing excuses."23 Those who so participate must seek absolution in the sacrament of penance.24

22. Col., vol. I, p. 642, n. 1176 (1859).
23. Col., vol. I, p. 100, n. 311 (1729).
24. Ibid.

The references are taken directly from the Collectanea S. Congregationis de Propaganda Fidei seu Decreta Instructiones Rescripta pro Apostolicis Missionibus (Ex Typographia Polyglotta, Roma, 1907) which were the acta of the Holy Office.

Didimaya said...

David of Glasgow,

You are striving to prove that the Church since 1967 is in error. Even if you are successful in convincing most of the traditionalists here that this is the case, it will not influence Rome or the Pope to accept this conclusion.

Bishop Fellay is also trying to convince the world and Rome that the Church is in error. So far, he has been unsuccessful in this endeavor.

However, if he were successful, and Rome then admitted that the Church is in error, then he would be able to do what so many others have not been able to do. How many non-Catholic groups have been pushing for centuries to prove that the Church is in error? Wouldn't they be thrilled if the Catholic Church, at the behest of the SSPX, admitted such a thing - because it would prove their thesis - wouldn't it? That the Catholic Church is no longer the One True Church as founded by Christ?

CH DUPUY said...

To David of Glasgow:
Congratulations on your excellent piece!!
Like bishop Fellay has expressed repeatedly, while the post-conciliar popes are valid popes, they contradict previous magisterium. This is a mystery as he acknowledges.
Like Matamoros posted in another thread, the difficulty consists that New Rome (modernist Rome) equals true Rome and reconciling New Rome with previous Rome is something like squaring the circle.

David of Glasgow said...

You are striving to prove that the Church since 1967 is in error.

That is not true and your assertion further demonstrates what happens when we fail to make the necessary distinctions in our thought. As Romano Amerio put it, "the crisis is partly a result of the loss of the essences of things". That is, by starting with confused definitions - and, thus, false premises - we shall inevitably arrive at false conclusions when we try to discuss the current crisis in the Church.

Now, even though it can be demonstrated that the teaching authority of the Church (the magisterium qua subject) has taught something that contradicts a previous, more authoritative teaching, this does not mean that the Church has in any way failed. Just as we don't say that the erroneous teaching of Pope John XXII regarding the state of the souls of the Just before the Final Judgement did not mean that the Church had failed. These kind of errors happen - thankfully - very rarely and do not in any way negate the charism of infallibility with which Christ endowed His Church. And it certainly does not negate the truth that the Catholic Church is - and always will be - the One True Church founded by Christ.

Of course, the problems caused by the erroneous teaching of John XXII are almost negligible compared to those caused by the erroneous teaching in 1967 and onwards that it was permitted for Catholics to actively participate in non-Catholic worship. But the difference here is of degree not of species.

Perhaps we have to look at the Arian crisis to see anything comparable to the confusion that Catholics are labouring under at the present time.

Whats Up! said...

Thank you David.
Very enlightening and charitable.

You are a true friend of the Church.

OKC Catholic said...

David of Glasgow,
Thank you for your posts! I've learned much. I had recommended that Mr. Wang read Michael Davies to "enlighten" himself but it seems you are doing a fine job "standing in" for Mr. Davies (may he rest in peace).