Rorate Caeli

Benedict XVI - SSPX: Quarter to midnight

"Well, now is the favourable time, this is the day of salvation" (2 Cor 6:2). The words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians of Corinth resonate for us with an urgency that does not permit absences or inertia. The term "now", repeated several times, says that this moment cannot be let go, it is offered to us as a unique opportunity that will not be repeated. And the Apostle's gaze focuses on sharing with which Christ chose to characterize his life, taking on everything human to the point of taking on all of man’s sins.
Benedict XVI
Ash Wednesday, 2013

What threats can the hotheads on the SSPX side make? They have been expelled, or have excluded themselves.

What threats can the extremist liberals on the Rhine basin side make? Threaten schism, as they repeatedly (reportedly) did to John Paul II? Ask for the Pope's head, as they did in 2009? The Pope has delivered his head! On a tray, like the Precursor: the German-speaking and French-speaking Salomes cannot demand anything else.

From religioblog, the blog of the usually very well-informed religious writer of French daily Le Figaro:


"A quarter to midnight, Bishop Fellay." This parody of the title of the film dedicated to Dr. Schweitzer, a great Protestant, is badly chosen to recall the very Catholic Lefebvrist question, but it happens that this dossier, that seemed lost, could mark the last days of the Pontificate of Benedict XVI. Discussions, late [discussions], are taking place between Rome and Écône... Up to the end the Pope tries to reach an agreement.

I myself wrote after the announcement of the resignation of this Pope, on February 11, that this dossier of negotiations with the Society of Saint Pius X [FSSPX / SSPX] founded by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre promised to be one of the "failures" of the Pontificate. If not its greatest failure: Benedict XVI accepted all the demands of the Society: the rehabilitation of the Mass according to the ancient rite, the removal of the excommunications, the proposal of a doctrinal agreement. He has put all his heart of a distraught shepherd seeking the unity the flock. Never had a Pope dedicated so much of his personal efforts to such a specific dossier, with the risk of being completely misunderstood. He also suffered global infamy as a result of the Williamson affair.

This negotiation, often considered in Italy or in the universal Church as a "French question" is not so in reality. It is one of the symbols of this Pontificate. What could happen or fail in the upcomng days is therefore very important across the Catholic Church.


If one had to summarize in one expression the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, this would be: the rehabilitation of Catholic faith and identity. One image captures it all. The Madrid WYD witnessed, at the time of the vigil and before the storm and deluge that soon came down, not the spectacle of a Pope before over a million young people, but an incredible silence of prayer before a consecrated host... with a Pope, kneeling, in front of all. In the Catholic view, therefore, the adoration of... God, because the Church considers that Christ is "truly present" in the consecrated host under the "appearance" of bread.

It is necessary to add this: the monasteries and seminaries that are full, the communities and the priests who shine, are most often people who bend their knees before the Eucharist.

One may mock this practice, but behold it has really come back! Launched under John Paul II, this return of the eucharistic faith has blossomed, as it were, under the Pontificate of Benedict XVI.

And one cannot strictly understand anything in the current status of the Church, or only from the outside, if one does not grasp this key note.

One other, more succinct, way of saying this would be the following - and this with no offense to Protestants: the Pontificate of Benedict XVI has, as it were, "de-Protestantized" the Catholic Church. To the chagrin of the Progressive wing. But it is this objective reality that makes [them] cringe.

It is necessary to have this in mind in order to understand better the scope of the discussions, even at last minute, with the Lefebvrists. Benedict XVI, the theologian, has "re-Catholicized" the Church. There is not much else to say. If he confided this summer to his biographer, Peter Seewald, that he had the sentiment of having fulfilled his mission, it is in this sense. He has in effect corrected the course. His direction was what is essential in the Catholic faith. He put an end to the approximations and experimentations of the post-conciliar period.

It is for this reason that he has always viewed the Society of Saint Pius X favorably. He did not see them as a tribe of irreducible [men], or as a greenhouse. He does not fold with the agressiveness of some towards him. He sees these priests and this work as a place where what is essential in the Catholic faith is lived. [...] [T]his was the sense of the letter of Abp. di Noia, published in a previous post.

Therefore, Benedict XVI has never considered normal that these people, who partake of what is "essential", be rejected while many priests, theologians and bishops, while considered Catholics, do not recognize - [and] they express, in this point of view, a philo-Protestant theology - this "real presence" of Christ in the Eucharist.

Quite true, there are also doctrinal questions and very contentious approaches to Vatican II. But it is of capital [importance] to understand this convergence of what is essential in the faith: Benedict XVI does not wish to reintegrate the Society of Saint Pius X to "fix" a problem, as a manager might do. He thinks that it has its place in the larger body of the Church and an important role to play there. [A role] that it already plays without noticing it.

Benedict XVI is leaving. A verification of the lists of papabili - with the exception of Cardinal Ranjith, in Colombo, but who has a small chance precisely due to his Traditionalist sensibility - shows that this "Benedict XVI moment" is a unique occasion for the Society of Saint Pius X.

[...] Rome proposes to them, before the resignation of Benedict XVI is in force on February 28, to sign a final agreement and become a prelature that would give them a dependence from Rome but an independence vis-à-vis the bishops. This letter asks for a response by February 22, feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, a highly symbolic date because it celebrates the foundation of the Church. This is the view expressed in this letter signed by Abp. Müller (who is himself personally opposed to this agreement), but whom Benedict XVI, who named him to this position, asked to work for this unity.

[...] Bp. Fellay faces, therefore, an immense responsibility. Will he be te one who, for fear of the ultras (who will leave him, anyway), refuse a last extended hand by this Pope who, in a certain fashion, spiritually placed his resignation in play also for this agreement? Otherwise what would this letter and these ongoing exchanges mean one week away from the end of the Pontificate?

There is something of the very fate of the Society of Saint Pius X, of their very standing, that is therefore in play. They are used to taking shots. They were even established this way. They can always say that they can bear not being understood one more time with this last refusal. That they can do no other with the credibility and the goodwill that they were able to receive in the Catholic Church, particularly among the young people who are her future. But how could a foundation that has the goal of reviving the identity of the Church knowingly refuse this possibility? How can one be blinded and paralyzed to such a level that one cannot see this clearly? Is not a Pontificate that was almost dedicated to them not enough for them?


  1. Gladius10:16 PM

    "Launched under John Paul II, this return of the eucharistic faith has blossomed, as it were, under the Pontificate of Benedict XVI."

    Unfortunately bringing with it the symptoms of the loss of faith seen since the council. People visit with each other in front of the Monstrance not discerning what the True Presence really is or they have learned at Mass that Jesus is their buddy. Men and women come to Perpetual Adoration Chapels in shorts, blue jeans and why not, they attend the Novus Ordo Mass in the same attire. Some couples sit together in an embrace. Do the abuses offset the blessings that Adoration Chapels bring to a Parish?

    1. So am I supposed to wear a three piece suit to the Adoration chapel at my parish? Personally, it's a great blessing to be able to walk in and pour out my heart to the Lord, kneeling before the monstrance, no matter how I look. If I've had a bad day and I want to talk to my Lord and my God, why should I have to get all gussied up?

      By the way, people don't talk at my Novus Ordo (oh Lord have mercy, we celebrate the Ordinary Form) parish; if they absolutely must resort to words, the whisper.

  2. There's just a few more hours. That's all the time you've got. A few more hours before they tie the knot. There are traddies and reactionists all over London, and I've gotta track 'em down in just a few more hours!

  3. Benedict Carter10:18 PM

    No negotiations are necessary. The Pope merely needs to give the SSPX canonical regularity within whatever structure was agreed in earlier talks. They are not only Catholics, they are the best of Catholics.

  4. So is this saying that Bishop Fellay is meeting with the Holy Father riht now?

  5. Libera Me10:53 PM

    Yes-Benedict Carter-you are correct!

    NO MORE TALKS! The Pope must simply restore the faculties of the SSPX in one fell swoop of a pen!

  6. "People visit with each other in front of the Monstrance not discerning what the True Presence really is or they have learned at Mass that Jesus is their buddy. Men and women come to Perpetual Adoration Chapels in shorts, blue jeans and why not, they attend the Novus Ordo Mass in the same attire. Some couples sit together in an embrace. Do the abuses offset the blessings that Adoration Chapels bring to a Parish?"

    I am very familiar with four (Novus Ordo) parishes within the Diocese of Dalla. During Adoration, I have not see anything akin to that which you described.

    Interestingly, I have encountered a majority of young Catholics during such times...not many Catholics, say...50+,

    I have seen many Faithful, particularly younger Catholics, prostrate themselves during Eucharistic Adoration. The humble and holy manner in which they pesent themselves puts me to shame.

    Many young couples with their children populate the chapels in question. I beg God to grant me even a microscopic amount of their holy and gentle Catholic nature.


  7. Yes Benedict Carter I to belive they are among the best of Roman Cathoilcs! Let them show this and come to our aid now! Deo Gratias Archbishop Lefevbre


  8. Gladius--yes, the crisis is perhaps the worst ever...but please, there have always been souls that do not recognize their Lord..even 2000 years ago...get a grip!

  9. Francis11:28 PM

    Very true Benedict Carter. Pope Benedict can "reconcile" the SSPX in less than a minute with a stroke of his pen. Unfortunately I don't see it happening, but I hope I'm wrong.

  10. ncstevem11:32 PM

    There's an adoration chapel at the 'modern' Catholic church down the street from my home. I frequently go for adoration there (never been to Mass there) and I would say the vast majority are dressed casually - i.e. jeans, sweat pants, shorts, T-shirts, flip flops, sneakers etc.

  11. Jason C.11:46 PM

    Gladius, your statements remind me of this passage from Uncle Screwtape: When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbours whom he has hitherto avoided. You want to lean pretty heavily on those neighbours. Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like "the body of Christ" and the actual faces in the next pew. It matters very little, of course, what kind of people that next pew really contains. You may know one of them to be a great warrior on the Enemy's side. No matter. Your patient, thanks to Our Father below, is a fool. Provided that any of those neighbours sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous. At his present stage, you see, he has an idea of "Christians" in his mind which he supposes to be spiritual but which, in fact, is largely pictorial.

  12. This article seems like the same old sentimental and half-true nonsense we've seen innumerable times before now.

    Re. giving the SSPX all it wants: does Rome still insist on the SSPX recognising the legitimacy (as opposed to just validity) of the deficient NOM

    One can further express one's reservations about the supposedly great opportunity awaiting the SSPX in many ways, here is but one: if BXVI is such a uniquely traditionalist friend of the SSPX, why won't he celebrate the TLM in public (who knows what he does in private)?

  13. I guess the question is: What does Pope Benedict XVI say in the letter and want from SSPX? That is the main point. Why would the Pope insist on the things he already know the SSPX will reject? That's why I think this time the matter of the letter can be probably different.

  14. I pray Our Holy Father and Bishop Fellay are meeting or have met personally with-out curial interference. I believe the two of them could work this out face to face in less than an hour. If however it is not worked out I hope the preamble is made public so all the guessing and insinuations can stop and we can see how and why this played out the way it did. I think it would be a win/win for the Church and the Society to allow the Society to function independent of local bishops and elevate Bishop Fellay as Cardinal over the Society and he answers directly to the Pope. You can't have a progressive bishop or cardinal in authority over the Society that just would not work. How would the Jesuits like to have Bishop Fellay or a FSSP bishop (oh wait there aren't any) over see their operations? Or have Bishop Fellay oversee the women’s religious in the United States. Same thing. The leadership of the Society must work up through the Society. It would be nice of Rome to elevate a few the great priests in the FSSP to Bishoprics; it has been like 20 yrs. or something like that. Another example of why these discussions are so tricky. It is like two different religions trying to find some common ground but we are supposed to be not only the same religion but the same Rite in the same religion. I think the best way to work this out is have the Paul VI Latin Rite and the Pius V Latin Rite and in a hundred years see where they are at.

  15. After what we've seen in the church these past 40 years, I really don't think it's incumbent on the SSPX to "sign" on the dotted line. If the church thinks they should be reintegrated, let it be so. If not, another time. Anyone who thinks that this will be the only opportunity that will ever come along for sensible and real ecumenical relations with an unfortunately abused traditional group, is very naive. What's going to happen? is the entire Vatican II church going to be raptured into heaven at the stroke of midnight on February 28th 2013? I rather think...notttt! And if Ranjith isn't elected, how is the instant presence of the reintegrated SSPX going to change the situation one way or the other? Sorry, but it just doesn't add up. It would appear that Rome lacks either the will or the ability to address the theological shortcomings of both Vat II and the Acts of the Consilium (HEY, that would make a great title for a scriptural book to be added to the canon of the New Testament! Any N.O. takers on that?) at the present time. Shortly there won't be much opposition within the church, because there won't be much structure left. So perhaps then will be the more appropriate time. Wouldn't you say?

  16. Tom, I agree with you! I am in the Ft. Worth Diocese and I agree with you. I go to UNT and our student parish has a chapel with the tabernacle on the altar. A lot of the young ladies wear their chaple veils and we are ALL very devout and truly believe in the real presence.

    It continues to baffle me...the Church assumes that they know what young people "like" however I don' think they have ever asked us. Those of us that are actaully practicing and have not fallen away what TRUE Catholicism, not watered down junk. When will they ever learn?

    Cardinal Burke..I'm prayin for ya man!

  17. John L2:17 AM

    I don't see the reason for this drumbeating about the last chance, etc. We do not actually know the contents of the preamble which the SSPX is supposed to sign, as it is not public - in itself something that should set off alarm bells - but there are fairly reliable reports about its contents; these contents require the SSPX to agree to more than was proposed to Abp. Lefebvre in 1988, and in particular they require the SSPX to profess that the documents of Vatican II are in entire agreement with Catholic tradition, and that the Novus Ordo is both valid and licit. Obviously there is no possibility of the SSPX agreeing to these things, so all this drumbeating is pointless in practical terms. In moral and religious terms it is quite objectionable, since it demands that the SSPX assent to claims that are not in fact true - and that have been attacked on many occasions on this very blog.

    These 'last chance', 'quarter to midnight' tactics are not new; they were used against Abp. Lefebvre in 1988. Of course they are not going to fool anyone in the SSPX. New Catholic on the 'forum catholique' remarked that we are not going to see another pope like Benedict XVI. This is true, fortunately. Benedict XVI's only substantial gestures in favour of traditionalism were his motu proprio and his lifting the excommunication of the SSPX bishops - both of which were no more than the recognition of legal facts. He did not follow these up with any practical support for traditionalism or the old mass - ever. In any case he will be gone in a week and the practical issue of the state of the SSPX is inevitably going to be in the hands of the next pontiff. Bishop Fellay has made it known that he will (quite rightly) do nothing about the proposals of the CDF until the new pontiff is elected.

  18. If there is ever a time to stand in the breach and, as though kneeling, silently yell, "Humility!" this is one of those times.

  19. An SSPX regularization combined with the election of Ranjith, Burke, or a Siri protege (Bagnasco or Piacenza) - now that would be a cause for celebration in these upcoming weeks!

  20. Ivan K3:03 AM

    This sounds a little more credible than the usual "sign now or burn in traddie hell forever" warnings.

  21. CatholicScoob3:31 AM

    "Some couples sit together in an embrace."

    The horror!! Couples embraced in united adoration of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament! To think such a thing could happen in the middle of the 21st century!

    Yeah... This is why the SSPX is drifting into obscurity.

  22. Fidus et Audax3:31 AM

    Good for you Nick D, it sounds like you have a Church where people are quiet and respectuful. As for the 8 or so Churches in my huge west Florida diocese it might as well be a bing hall before mass. The blue hairs are chatting and laughing as if they were at a rec center. I'd also be willing to bet that my expreience is far more common than yours unfortunately.

  23. Several "informed" and "insider" journalists and others have promoted the notion that Pope Benedict XVI views the Society of Saint Pius X as "shock" troops who will be employed by Rome to restore Holy Tradition to the Latin Church. The Traditional Roman Mass is supposedly the Pope's centerpiece Liturgy.

    But His Holiness has never said such things publicly.

    1. Pope Benedict XVI has not offered the Traditional Roman Mass publicly. That doesn't make sense for a Pope who views supposedly the Traditional Roman Mass as the Mass that will aid in a plan that he has not declared publicly.

    2. Pope Benedict XVI has maintained that alongside good elements, one finds within the Society of Saint Pius X "sick" and arrogant elements. He has also warned that the Society suffers from a complete understanding of Holy Tradition.

    3. Pope Benedict XVI said of the Society that should "we really calmly leave them to drift away from the Church?"

    4. Pope Benedict XVI stated that Summorum Pontificum is an "act of tolerance, with a pastoral objective, for people who have been formed in this liturgy, who love it, who know it, who want to live with this liturgy. It is a small group, given that it presupposes a formation in Latin, a formation in a certain culture."

    5. Pope Benedict XVI delcared the following in a letter to the bishops: "I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988.

    "It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.

    "Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity.

    "One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden.

    "This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to enable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew."

    6. In that same letter, Pope Benedict XVI said that "the use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often.

    "Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful."

    When has Pope Benedict XVI ever declared publicly that he viewed the Society of Saint Pius X as "shock" troops to be used by Rome to restore Tradition and the TLM throughout the Church?

    Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear publicly that he has reached out to the Society to correct their errors and prevent the Society from drifting from the Church.

    He has presented Summorum Pontificum as an act of tolerance to maintain unity among the small amount of Catholics who are attached to the Traditional Roman Mass.

    Unless certain journalists have unassailable information that Pope Benedict XVI has changed his mind in regard to the above (His Holiness has never said so publicly), then we have little more than a case of certain journalists having invented nonsense.


  24. Anonymous3:32 AM

    How can the Pope regularise the SSPX unilaterally when, for all intents and purposes, they see themselves as the only true Catholics, regard the Ordinary Form Mass as evil and that Vatican II taught error? Is it remotely realistic to believe reconciliation will permit themn to hold these theses? Or permit them to confer conditional confirmation and ordination? Or tell people to boycott Sunday Mass altogether if they cannot attend an SSPX Mass (even if there is a TLM around the corner)?

  25. Does it really matter? Seriously. If the SSPX and the Holy Father were to execute a document in the next few hours, there will be nay-sayers screaming on both sides. Vanity of vanities. and all is vanity.

    Yes, we all have reason to offer great gratitude to Archbishop Lefebvre. The FSSP was sprouted from the work of Lefebvre. I personally hope Archbishop Lefebvre will be elevated in the universal Church.

    The Church was not wrong to excommunicate the 4 bishops in 1988. Pope Benedict XVI offered amnesty to them. That was his olive branch. He initiated and paved the way for the SSPX to come back into full communion with Rome. Sorry if it's not good enough.

    Thanks be to God we have groups like the FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, and St. John Cantius who have somehow managed to continue to carry the torch Lefebvre initiated, and allow the faithful to
    enjoy the fruits of the Traditional Mass, all in full-communion with the Barque of Peter.

    Message to SSPX loyalists: You do not hold the patent on The Mass. We appreciate your contributions. Beyond that, get over yourselves.

  26. Dave K4:48 AM

    If the SSPX cannot accept the minimum standards for membership in the Church i.e. accepting its teaching, obeying its laws, and submitting to its authority then it will never be regularized. As Pius XII said in Mystici Corporis;Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. "For in one spirit" says the Apostle, "were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free." [17] As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. [18] And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered -- so the Lord commands -- as a heathen and a publican. [19] It follows that those are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.

  27. Gratias6:01 AM

    Bye bye SSPX. The FSSP will replace you. Benedict XVI was our great Pope and they did not even give him the courtesy of a response. The Latin Mass is growing in spite of the SSPX.

  28. I hope the Lord Gives Bishop Falley all the wisdom he needs at this late hour.

  29. OnEaglesWings6:24 AM

    NC and brothers and sisters in Christ,

    Looks like a picture of God's clock... any time from alpha to omega is now! So, really, time is irrelevant, what matters is substance - fidelity to our Lord.

    Let us pray for one another that we may live by every word of God.

    So, with or without an agreement...

    #1 Where necessary, re-sanctify every altar in every Catholic Church and return the relics removed from many altars/churches.

    #2 Suspend any priest from relevant duties that adulterates the altar, or professes openly against the real presence. This should be shortened down to mo more than a 3 month process (not be a 25 year process). Verify each priest's position by presenting them to publicly affirm their belief in the real presence. Adding a few more "I believe..." items wouldn't hurt...

    #3 Return the sacristy to the center of the Church so when a visitor comes to it, he/she knows where Christ is present (none of this relegation of the Blessed Sacrament to some back room that is locked and holding Christ hostage... if He's there at all... If this were so, even those with shorts, short skirts and flipflops would get it, because Christ would permeate to their souls like a radioactive gamma ray permeates the body. But if they truly detest the real presence, then as they would avoid radiation they will stay away and so be it! They have free will; God gives them a choice for a sufficient time. We are either with Him or against Him.

    #4 The pope (present or next)demand that every Bishop clean up the liturgy of the N.O Mass per the Missae Romanum and then follow up to propose a bit of new "tweaking" to MAKE SURE there is continuity with Tradition... and these things will leave little ammo to SSPX and substantially bridge the gap between Rome and the society.

    The trouble is, I suspect this won't happen in the next decade or two.... especially since it's likely that the next pope will not do so. It is likely going to be a pope that will strong arm the traditionalists into further liturgical suffering...

    Fillay is right in that much can be done without the society. It would go a long way to bridge the gap between them and Rome, but that is not central. With or without the SSPX, what I say in the four points must happen, then many other things become much less cumbersome.

  30. FSSPX wrong. Why?

    Our Lord Said

    And I tell thee this in my turn, that thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it;

    Can they be More Catholic than the Holy Father? No!!

    When I read a lot of Adherents to FSSPX position posts here, I realize they have become protestant without knowing it. Exactly where the evil one wants them.

  31. Benedict Carter8:55 AM

    Gratias said, "The Latin Mass is growing in spite of the SSPX."

    The truth is entirely the opposite. The Old Mass is coming back BECAUSE of the Society.

  32. Matamoros8:56 AM

    Dear Gratias,

    is the Society of St Peter goig to starr opposing the mistakes of Vatican II now? Fantastic! Two Societies are better than one!

  33. I am aghast at the amount of time and energy people are exhausting in proving, or trying to prove, that SSPX are in error. Could it be that these naysayers, deep down, know that the SSPX position is correct and that they are expressing their own psychological guilt by their attacks on SSPX.

    There was an acceptable deal on the table, but at 59 minutes to twelve, Mueller, Koch, Moderod, et al demanded new additional conditions.
    The German Bishops' Conference screamed that SSPX back in the fold would result in schism elsewhere and the Bundestag threatened to sever diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

    The situation stinks of hypocrisy or worse.

  34. Pachomius12:24 PM

    What is true is that the longer this irregularity continues, the more difficult it will be for the SSPX to deny that they believe the Roman Church hath erred, not only in matters not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.

    The equivocations needed to avoid this question get more and more strained by the day, and the high-faluting rhetoric employed by the SSPX against the Church (never-mind the crypto-'Orthodox' 'eternal Rome' stuff) convinces no-one and presents no serious argument.

  35. Prof. Basto12:34 PM

    Splendid article by Jean-Marie Guénois. Let us hope that Bishop Fellay reads it and acts upon it today, sending by FAX, email, express mail, telephone, etc., etc., etc., a positive reply to the Holy See, in keeping with tomorrow's deadline.

    What awaits the SSPX if it refuses is not a punishment, a re-excommunication, inflicted by Benedict XVI, but simply the loss of an historic opportunity. And still, this loss of an historical opportunity, of the "favourable time", may be worse than a formal censure.

    God only knows what will happen if the SSPX remains uregularized when the next Pontificate begins. God only knows when a new possibility of regularization will open up.

    But it is true that the SSPX's place is within the formal structure of the Church; that they should fight from within; that the Pope wants them in; that no Pope has dedicated such energies to a single dossier; that the Pope has met the three initial conditions; that his hand of peace has always been outstretched to the SSPX, even when He has been misunderstood or even openly opposed by the progressives and by several Bishops and Cardinals.

  36. *Lefebvristes : Lombardi dit : BXVI "confie la question au prochain Pape" et ne voit pas d'ultimatum au 22 février. La porte reste ouverte* Jean Marie Guénois on Twitter 04:37 - 21 feb 2013

  37. Kathleen1:23 PM

    The simplistic bickering of "the old Mass is coming back because of the Society" and "the Latin Mass is growing in spite of the Society." utterly fails to convey the reality and does not reflect well on us.

    The Society has played a critical role in preserving Tradition in the midst of the crisis.

    But key battles and elements have taken place outside the Society.

    AND increasingly key battles are taking place outside the control of the Society.

    It is reaching the point where if the Society wants to remain in the fight they MUST come inside to do so.

    They are no longer alone.

    They have SIGNIFICANT allies here now.

    We need each other.

  38. Praying and fasting today...may you all join me in this. We need the SSPX in the mainstream.

    Good article and thanks, RC

  39. Ralph Roister-Doister1:51 PM

    There is just no way to give credence to this faux jeremiad. It is political spin only. Benedict has made some enticements, while spin artists such as this one groan with dismay that Benedict has moved heaven and earth for the sake of his most cantankerous of flocks. His article is but one aria in a contrived political opera.

    As a young man, Fr Ratzinger contributed mightily to the situation from which the SSPX grew. One might say that the SSPX is in significant measure his creation. Although age may have mellowed the ardency of this once flaming theological liberal, one particular fruit of that ardency -- severe curtailment of papal power in the name of "collegiality" -- makes his promises and commitments shaky propositions at best. Especially now, when we are days away from the choosing of his successor, who may be neither European nor conservative, and not at all disposed to honor his predecessor's last minute solution to what is already reductively viewed as the "French problem."

  40. Why must every story that mentions any real, positive improvement in the church prompt a comment about some "abuse" related to the fact to what kind of clothing people wear? At what point in history did casual attire become tantamount to abuse?

    I go to adoration regularly, and I see working people dressed like they normally dress as they go through their day. I am a Land Surveyor, and I wear work jeans, boots and a dress shirt every day, for virtually every occasion. Am I to be precluded from visiting my Lord now because I don't meet the standards of some self-appointed clothing police?

  41. Anonymous2:38 PM


    One must wonder why Mueller was chosen to the position he currently holds. Seems to mame no sense, when discussing the return of the FSSPX.

    Also; one can understand why FSSPX and it's supporters cry "foul" when priests and nuns openly and proudly spread heresy, when Cardinal Mahony can actually cast a vote at the Papal conclave... Sr. Joan Chittister is not formally censored by Rome... and the FSSPX remains "outside", "illicit".

    I am a traddy. FSSP. But the above, to me, has always smelled funny. Would their really be a schism if the FSSPX were allowed "back in"? If so, why? And, if true, are those threatening schism actually protestants at heart, not to mention the bigger (biggest) problem in the Church today? Perhaps let them break away. Perhaps that's the first step towards the restoration of Holy Mother Church. Their choice. Free will.


  42. Prof. Basto2:48 PM

    From the Holy See Press Office, on the last activities of the Holy Father before the resignation becomes operative (including the question of the SSPX, the possibility of a motu proprio about the Conclave, the agenda of the Pope for February 28, and more):


    Ciudad del Vaticano, 21 febrero 2013 (VIS).-Esta mañana el director de la Oficina de Prensa de la Santa Sede, padre Federico Lombardi S.I., ha actualizado algunos datos sobre el calendario del Santo Padre y aclarado diversas cuestiones planteadas en los últimos días.

    El sábado 23, a las 9.00, el Santo Padre y la Curia romana acaban los ejercicios espirituales. Habitualmente, el Papa dirige unas breves palabras a los presentes. Ese mismo día, a las 11,30, se encontrará con el Presidente de la República Italiana, Giorgio Napolitano. El domingo, 24 de febrero, Benedicto XVI rezará el último ángelus de su pontificado con los fieles reunidos en la Plaza de San Pedro. El miércoles, 27, la audiencia general -la última de Benedicto XVI- tendrá lugar en la Plaza de San Pedro y se desarrollará normalmente, excepto por la vuelta que el Santo Padre dará en papamóvil alrededor de la Plaza para saludar a los numerosos participantes (hasta la fecha han comunicado su presencia más de 30.000 personas). El 28 de febrero, como anuncia una nota de la Casa Pontificia, saludará personalmente a todos los cardenales presentes en Roma, es decir tanto a los residentes como a los que han acudido a la capital en los últimos días. No habrá discurso.

    Por cuanto respecta a su partida del Vaticano, el Papa saludará poco antes de las 17,00 en el Patio de San Dámaso al cardenal Secretario de Estado,Tarcisio Bertone y una vez llegado al helipuerto vaticano se despedirá del cardenal Angelo Sodano decano del Colegio Cardenalicio. A su llegada a Castel Gandolfo será recibido por el presidente y el secretario de la Gobernación del Vaticano, por el alcalde de esa localidad y otras autoridades civiles y se asomará al balcón del palacio apostólico para saludar a los numerosos fieles presentes.

    En otro orden de cosas, el director de la Oficina de Prensa de la Santa Sede ha puntualizado que la fecha del cónclave la establece la Congregación de los cardenales durante la sede vacante, independientemente de un posible Motu Proprio del Santo Padre para especificar algunos detalles de la constitución Universi Dominici Gregis.

    Refiriéndose al tema de la Fraternidad Sacerdotal San Pío X, ha reafirmado que la fecha límite del 22 de febrero relacionada con su situación es pura hipótesis y que Benedicto XVI ha decidido confiar al próximo Papa la cuestión, por lo tanto, no hay que esperar una definición de las relaciones con la Fraternidad antes del final de este pontificado.


  43. Ralph Roister-Doister7:31 PM

    "New Catholic on the 'forum catholique' remarked that we are not going to see another pope like Benedict XVI. This is true, fortunately."

    John L and/or New Catholic,
    While I do not dispute John L's "fortunately," what makes you think that Benedict is the last of his kind? For example, how different would a Pope Scola be from Pope Ratzinger? It seems to me that there is at least a modest "communio" bloc amongst the cardinals, although its hard to see how this is especially good news for traditionalists.

  44. It is not about theological outlook, but about a deeply personal and ancient stake in the Lefebvre affair.

  45. John L10:50 PM

    There is also the curious combination that went to make up Benedict XVI: the formation in the preconciliar church with its liturgy and strong orthodox scholarship, and the powerful modernist movement attacking the root of the faith. Benedict XVI was deeply influenced by both of these, and tried the impossible task of reconciling them. We will either get a feeble modernist, since the power of modernism is gone, or someone who has no time for modernism.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!