Rorate Caeli

For the record: SSPX Superior-General Bp. Fellay interviewed by SSPX magazine on the 25th anniversary of 1988 Ordinations. "Of course I remain open to contacts from Rome"

1. What was your initial reaction when you learned that Archbishop Lefebvre had chosen you to be one of the priests to be consecrated?

My first reaction was to think there must be others better than me; if possible, let this chalice pass from me! My second reaction was for my fellow priests, my brothers in the priesthood, "pro fratribus" because it is obvious that it is a big cross. It is a question of dedication for the others.

2. Can you recall your emotions and state of mind on June 30, 1988, after having received consecration from the hands of the Archbishop?

I don't recall much about my own feelings or emotions. What I remember was how the whole congregation was electrified. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. I've never seen that in my whole life. This I do remember. It was during the ceremony as well as after; a great joy, nothing else. It was overwhelming.

3. In his Spiritual Journey, Archbishop Lefebvre describes a vision he had in the Cathedral of Dakar. Can you discuss how the 1988 Consecrations would seem to be a fulfillment of that vision?

Amazingly, I would say that I don't even make the connection between both. In fact, I don't think there is any. I don't think the measure of having bishops is directly related to the work itself. It's only a survival measure. It's not the essential of the work, which is to form and build priests according to the heart of Jesus. This is the main thing.

It is true that without bishops, we would not have priests, but it was definitely not the essential element of the work. It is essential to survive but not for the nature of the work. Of course with all the developments we had in our apostolate and the situation of the Church the question of the Bishops has to be seen in a new light!

4. Archbishop Lefebvre attempted to underline the extraordinary nature of his decision to consecrate as well as distinguishing it from a schismatic act by emphasizing that he did not attempt to transmit any delegated episcopal jurisdiction but only the power of ordination. Some have over the past 25 years expressed disapproval of the election of one of the bishops as Superior General, arguing that such act suggests a jurisdictional claim as a bishop. Can you explain how such an argument is incorrect and elaborate how fulfilling the role of Superior General does not involve any claim to delegated episcopal jurisdiction?

First, why did the Archbishop not, at the time of the consecration, want a bishop to be Superior General? It was expressly to make it easier to deal with Rome. If the Superior General was a bishop, he would be under the "penalty" of Rome, which would make discussions more difficult than if it were, for instance, Fr. Schmidberger at the time. This was clearly limited to the circumstances; it was not a principle. It was a question of prudence. It was not a direct exclusion of a bishop being Superior General in the future.

But we must distinguish two kinds of jurisdiction. There is a normal, ordinary jurisdiction of a Superior General over his members and there is ordinary episcopal jurisdiction. As bishops, we have no ordinary jurisdiction right now, but as Superior General, I do have the other kind. They are not the same.

5. Do you have a particularly important memory of the Archbishop you would be willing to share?

On the one hand, his simplicity and common sense, and on the other hand, his very high vision of things. It was always supernatural. He always looked at God. It was clearly the case that he was guided by prayer, the Faith, and union with God. For him it was normal and obvious that someone had to be, in ordinary actions, always united with Our Lord.

6. How do you cultivate into your seminaries and priests Archbishop Lefebvre’s unique spirit of priestly piety, doctrinal soundness, and counter-revolutionary action?

First of all, we try to put the seminarians in contact, as far as possible, with Archbishop Lefebvre himself: his voice, his teaching, his books, etc. We have tapes of his conferences to seminarians. The French here have an advantage! But we are working on translating these so that all seminarians may have them. In English, some have already been collected in book form: They Have Uncrowned Him, Priestly Holiness, and The Mass of All Time.

Second, we try to fulfill and apply the means he himself gave to us in the seminaries: the organization, the plan of studies, and lectures prepared by him, for instance. He determined their set up, and how they are structured. For example, our philosophy and theology is based on the teachings of St. Thomas, as the Church has recommended. The Acts of the Magisterium is a class in particular desired by the Archbishop, which teaches the encyclicals of the great Popes of the 19th until Pius XII in their fight against the introduction of Enlightenment principles into the Church and society. We still follow this with great fruits.

7. What have been the most significant changes, good and bad, for the Society since the 1988 Consecrations?

I don't know whether there are so many changes. We are getting a little bit older, although we are still a young congregation. But we now have elderly priests, which we did not have in 1988. This is an external change, you may say. We had 4 bishops then and now we have 3. This is again a change, but nothing major or essential. We have more houses in more countries but this is not so much change as a normal development of the work.

We remain faithful to the line Archbishop Lefebvre gave. If we look at the last few years, in fact, Archbishop Lefebvre said in 1988 that Rome would come to us in 5 to 6 years after the consecrations. It lasted almost 24 or 25 years, and obviously things are not yet ripe. The changes Archbishop Lefebvre expected in the Church, the coming back, are not yet there. But obviously, if they continue the way they go, the destruction will continue, and one day they will have to go back. And that day they will come to us again.

On another hand, look at what has happened in recent years: the admission that the Old Mass is not abrogated, the lifting of the "1988 excommunications" and the influence in the Church that we have never had before! And this is not to mention the growing critique of the Council, even in Rome, outside of Society circles which is a relatively new phenomenon on this scale.

8. Can you describe the works and services that have occurred during the past 25 years that would have been impossible without the Consecrations?

It's simple: since the consecrations, the SSPX bishops have ordained more priests than were at the consecrations in 1988. Therefore it is clear that the bishops were necessary for the growth of the work of the Society. We would be a dying Society without the bishops. It is vital for the continuation of the work. There are also the confirmations, the making of soldiers of Christ to fight for God and His kingdom. Finally we cannot deny this influence on the whole Church so that Tradition may regain its rights.

9. Some critics of the Society point to Ecclesia Dei Communities none of which, with the exception of the case of Campos, have bishops of their own. They argue that the Consecrations were therefore unnecessary since these communities have existed without their own bishops. How does the contrast between the history of the Society and the Ecclesia Dei Communities over the past 25 years demonstrate even more clearly today than in 1988 the correct judgment of the Archbishop that a bishop of and from the Society was necessary not merely for her survival but for preservation of her complete mission?

First of all, all the Ecclesia Dei members understand that if we would not have had bishops, they would not exist. Directly or indirectly, they depend on the Society's life. That is very, very clear. And now the fruits of their apostolates are totally subjected to the good will of the local bishops. They drastically limit any solid desire to establish traditional Catholic life by limiting the possibilities of the apostolate in that direction. They are obliged to mix with the novelties of Vatican II, the world, and the Novus Ordo. This is the great difference between the Society and Ecclesia Dei groups.

I do see that some Ecclesia Dei groups are getting closer to us. This is definitely not all of them, though.

10. The Archbishop had exhausted himself over the years prior to the Consecration by traveling the world as the only traditional bishop (with the exception of Bishop de Castro Mayer who limited his sphere of activity mostly to his own diocese.) As a result he chose to consecrate four bishops rather than simply one. The number of traditional faithful has grown in the past 25 years, yet sadly the number of bishops in the Society has now been reduced to three. Are 3 bishops sufficient to carry on the work of Tradition? Is it necessary to consecrate more bishops now?

Since 2009, in fact, we have only been working with 3 bishops. Obviously, it is working. Thus, it is clear that with 3 it still works. So there is no urgency or extreme need to consecrate another bishop.

We certainly do have to ask ourselves the question concerning the future even if right now there is no necessity. My answer is very simple: if and when the circumstances which led the Archbishop to make such a decision present themselves again, we will take the same means.

11. Although Archbishop Lefebvre always maintained the desire to arrive at a peaceful relationship with the Roman authorities, the consecrations resulted in a new phase of hostile treatment and persecution of the Society by the Roman authorities. You have tried over the past decade, at least, to find a resolution of these hostilities and persecutions in a manner which in no way compromises the principles of the Society's mission. So far at least your efforts have not succeeded in a resolution. Why do you think, notwithstanding your good will, the efforts have not succeeded thus far?

First of all, I would point out that the initiative of normalization came from Rome, not from us. I did not make the first move. I tried to see if the situation was such that we could go ahead while keeping our identity. Obviously, it is not yet the case.

Why? The authorities still stick to the dangerous and poisonous principles which were introduced in the Church at the time of the Council. This is the reason we cannot go along.

I have no idea how much time we will need, or how many tribulations we will have to suffer through, until then. Perhaps ten years; perhaps more, perhaps less. It is in God's hands.

12. Do you remain open to receive contacts from Rome and in particular the new Holy Father?

Of course, I do remain open! It is God's Church. The Holy Ghost is still above to move beyond the obstacles put in place after Vatican II in the Church. If Our Lord wants to make things straight, He will. God knows when it will happen, but we must be always ready for it. A complete and true solution can only come when the authorities work again in that direction.

13. What signs can we watch for to determine if a conversion to Tradition has occurred, or is beginning, among the Roman authorities?

It is very difficult to say where it will begin. We saw with Pope Benedict that it was primarily the great sign of the liturgy and perhaps some other efforts which were less strong. These happened in the face of strong opposition. Obviously, it didn't make it through to what we see now. But it will definitely have to come from the head.

Something may come from below, from bishops, priests and faithful in the Novus Ordo who want to come back. I think this tendency has already started, though not yet very large. It's not yet the mainstream, but it is definitely a sign. Profound change must come from above, from the Pope. It could come from several sides, but definitely it will mean to put God and Our Lord Jesus Christ in the right place in the Church, in the center.

14. Assuming a conversion from the top, in Rome, how could the work of restoring the entire Church proceed?

It's very difficult to say. Right now, if things do not change, it could mean inner persecution and large fights on the inside of the Church as it happened in the time of Arianism. If something else happens, for instance, if there was a persecution and then afterward, the Pope came back to Tradition, the situation could be totally different. God knows what kind of a blueprint He will follow to bring the Church back on track.

15. What can be done to hasten such a return to Tradition?

Prayer and sacrifice! Everyone should follow one’s duty of state, encourage devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and pray the Rosary. Concerning the Rosary, I am open to a new Crusade.

16. What do you say to those who claim you planned (or still plan) to compromise on the Council and with the post-Conciliar Church?

That is pure propaganda from people who wanted to split the Society. I don't know why they have these ideas. Obviously they used the very delicate situation of last year to accuse the Superior of things he never did or had the intention to do. I never had the intention to compromise the Society.

Nevertheless, ask yourself: to whom does it profit to see the Society divided, if not to the enemies? Those who divide the Society with their dialectic, they should reflect on why they do what they do. With this, I mean Bishop Williamson and the priests who follow him.

17. Looking back over the past year, is there anything you would have done differently?

Oh, certainly. We are always wiser after the battle. I would have emphasized more what I have always said, though I didn't think it was necessary to emphasize: in whatever kind of an agreement, there would always be a condition sine qua non that we are not going to compromise. There is no way. We stay as we are. This is what makes us Catholics, and we want to remain Catholics.

I certainly would have, and in fact, have already, improved communications. I was paralyzed by the leaks. I would do it otherwise now.

18. Beyond relations with Rome, what are your hopes for the next 25 years for the Society and the Church?

That in these next 25 years, we will see the return of the Church to her Tradition so that we may see a new blossoming of the Church.

19. What would you recommend to both clerics and lay faithful as appropriate means of honoring and commemorating this 25th anniversary of the Consecrations?

To honor our dear Archbishop, to try to imitate his virtues, his beautiful humility, his poverty, his prudence, and his faith. Further, study the teaching of Archbishop Lefebvre in order to understand the principles that guide us: the love of Our Lord, the Church, Rome, the Mass, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

[Source: The Angelus, May-June 2013, via]


  1. They are running out of time. I worry that if the SSPX consecrates more bishops, their venture into schism will be seen as final by Rome, and the ugly hammer will be forced to fall.

    May they renounce their error and be reconciled to Holy Mother Church soon.


  2. I am quite sympathetic with SSPX, but if they claim the NO is invalid, or "poison", that V2 is riddled with errors in Faith or morals, then it is they are who need to come to Rome, not vice versa.

    Can one say the NO is an inferior rite? Sure. But don't treat it as somehow non-Catholic. Rhetorical excess will not do the will of God.

    Obedience is one virtue the devil cannot feign.

  3. THE

    Freezing dark
    Wrapped gray chapel
    In a foggy-cold.

    But warm inside
    Yellow candles spark
    In the brilliance
    Of the Monstrance bold.

    A distinctive nature
    Knelt in prayer
    A Bishop cast
    In Our Lord’s own mold.

    He’d never admit –
    Would never dare –
    “Just pray for me.”
    He’d scold.

    But this is a man
    A true Catholic Shepherd
    An Alter Christus
    To behold.

    And he will not hunt you
    Like a devouring leopard -
    But lure
    With his Fisherman’s Gold!

  4. Detractors are quick to pass rash judgement on the SSPX. The actions of Archbishop Lefebvre happened in a context. The Faith was and is under a most serious assault from within. Authority has been abused and the appeal to obedience mis-used to further an agenda that is leading the Holy Bark to ruin. Millions of souls are being lost because of the Vatican II revolution in the Church. God is not glorified as He aught to be, in fact He has been blatantly mocked by leading Church figures. The Church is paralysed because so many people refuse to see the reality as it is and will not use their common sense.

    God save us from legalism.

    "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you tithe mint, and anise, and cummin, and have left the weightier things of the law; judgement, and mercy, and faith. These things you ought to have done, and not to leave those undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel. (St. Luke 11: 23,24)

  5. "May they renounce their error and be reconciled to Holy Mother Church soon."

    I'm curious, Philosoraptor, what you believe is the error the SSPX must renounce?

  6. There is nothing new here. The hardness of certain positions stems from the incessant criticism and hypocritical position of Church authorities, who treat every Protestant group as being more Catholic than the SSPX. Aa lamentable as the status quo is, there should be no rush to seek a "reconciliation" in my opinion, because Rome continues to show that it is far too unstable to be a reliable negotiation partner. Right now, 99% of all Catholic bishops are much farther from Eternal Rome than is Fellay.


  7. Charles is correct, the context is relevant. But when has obedience ever been easy all the time?

    Perhaps Fellay is right, perhaps it will take another 25 years.

    However, the irregular status of the SSPX is a wound in the Body of Christ, and needs healing, sooner better than later.

  8. Yet there is inherent danger involved when one separates "eternal Rome" from the physical place. I remember sitting at a campfire and hearing an sspx acquaintance say, "But that's the NEW church's problem." He's a diehard sspxer and the type of simpleton that gives the sspx a really bad name (unfortunately they may be the majority). I told him that there is no new or old Catholic church but only ONE Catholic church to which another SSPXer at the fire agreed. But this is the sort of dichotomy you get when you separate "eternal" from physical Rome. Somehow there are two churches? This just doesn't jive with me. I grew up attending the SSPX but have since moved to the FSSP and Institute of Christ the King. I appreciate what the SSPX has accomplished for tradition but I honestly think the time for hardlining is done. The time for education is here. And I just don't find a well said OF mass to be sacrilegious or evil if slightly misguided.

  9. I had the pleasure of hearing Bishop Fellay speak only last week, and it was very interesting. All you who doubt the SSPX, listen to him! He is a wonderful speaker and can really explain the subtle argument the Society makes - which makes a lot of sense.

    I was brought up going to Society Masses, although by no means exclusively. We went to LMS, Institute and Novus Ordo Masses as well; in other words, I am by no means a die-hard SSPX-er, rather a Catholic who much prefers the EF.

    In first year at university, I didn't have the option to go to the Tridentine Mass. I found the best church I could, with an Orthodox priest who ticked all the boxes, with Novus Masses said by the book.

    It is noticeable, looking back, how Protestant-ised I became, even in those 30 weeks. I no longer went to confession regularly and rarely said the Rosary. I was certainly on the road to becoming a lip-service Catholic. I thought I was Catholic, but I began to doubt certain Catholic teachings. Looking back, my only conclusion is that the NO Mass, almost no matter how well said it is, is (if not harmful), not enough of a weapon to fight against the intellectual fights that happen every day in very secular environments.

    From my own experience, I can only say that to me the Novus Ordo was very harmful, and I am very grateful for the fact that Archbishop Lefebvre almost single-handedly saved the Tridentine Rite. SSPX are what made the Institute and ICKS possible, and their position is nowhere near as extreme as their critics would like to make out.

  10. Philosoraptor,

    Regarding the "errors" of the SSPX, you need to read:

    Michael Ortiz,

    Obedience is one thing, suicidal obedience is another. We're called to the former, not the latter. See:

  11. Obedience is a virtue in regard to which one may sin either by defect or by excess.

  12. "They are obliged to mix with the novelties of Vatican II, the world, and the Novus Ordo. This is the great difference between the Society and Ecclesia Dei groups."

    The big difference is one group is inside the church where they can make a real difference...the other isn't.

  13. L'evêque a perdu l'omnibus.

  14. Matercula said...

    The big difference is one group is inside the church where they can make a real difference...the other isn't.

    Oh you are so right the SSPX has made no difference at all. I think you are out of your depth here...

  15. We have all heard of Galileo and the knights of Templar. Rome made some wrong decisions, not Christ, but men of the Church. The fact remains that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre since during the Council and after it warned what would happen to the Church if the Church took the course it was taking. The fact is that all he warned about has come to pass. Will the Church suffer another embarrassment centuries from now and have to apologize for the way it treated Lefebvre and the SSPX. I desire for Rome to approve the SSPX only so that I could maybe join them. I wish to practice a no nonsense Catholic Faith, I don't want to remain stuck in the 60's and the 70's.

  16. Can anyone do me a favor and explain what this vision was or point me to some online source in regards to this vision? Thanks.

  17. It's really a shame that this situation is like this. So many good priests, beautiful chapels and sound doctrine.Why is the vatican so against authentic catholic doctrine? V2 has become catholic dogma.It's almost become the golden calf. How long is it gonna take for the pope and the clergy to realize that they're on a sinking ship?

  18. backtothefuture wrote:

    "V2 has become Catholic dogma. It is almost like the golden calf."

    How poignant. This blasted council really is the golden calf of the vast majority churchmen today, I think.

  19. "They are obliged to mix with the novelties of Vatican II, the world, and the Novus Ordo. This is the great difference between the Society and Ecclesia Dei groups."

    I wouldn't say obliged to "mix". They're obliged to "engage". And, I believe, the society is obliged to engage more whole heartily than what they do. As bad as Rome becomes, they still have legitimate authority. It's difficult because I'm not comfortable with any side. And Rome may most be to blame. Certainly the sad excuses for bishops of the recent past can be blamed. But the Apostles at times were sad excuses for bishops and Peter certainly was a sad excuse for a pope on many occasions. If I err I will err on the side of obedience and God will not judge me the worse for it. He won't blame me for something above my pay grade.

  20. Good Bishop Fellay. May he wear white in Rome before I pass on!

  21. The FSSP and IBP's stances seem sufficient fro any Trad--that the meaning of difficult texts from Vatican II are to be the subject of ongoing "study".

    Why are the SSPX holding this hard line?

    If I take the SSPX's stance correctly, they are holding this position until the post Vatican II "silly season" has passed and any offer of reunification from Rome is no longer coloured by it.

    The "silly season" is showing signs of coming to a close. Pope Benedict's numerous comments (well known to everyone here), calls for a Syllabus of Errors for the Council by the Kazakh chap, Cardinal Kasper's amazing admission that the Council documents are riddled with deliberate ambiguities, not to mention very positive steps in favour of the Mass of all Time.

    Two comments of +Fellay's fill me with hope: 1) that there are no plans to consecrate anymore bishops and thus go irreversibly into schism and 2) that he believes it will take around ten years for a reunion to take place. Ten years is about the time it will take for the generation whose childhoods and adolescences were coloured by the "Kumbya-Felt Banner Revolution" to die off. After this point a realistic doctrinal preamble will be offered and accepted.

    This is, of course, assuming that the SSPX are in good faith, which I believe them to be.

  22. Thank you, PHILOTHEA but I know exactly what I am saying here.

    How will the SSPX ever assist in cleaning up the problems inside the church if they are outside it not having influence day by day.

    Ecclesia Dei and Summorum Pontificum has brought about a widespread increase in the return to the Traditional Mass within the church worldwide.

    No longer can the dying race of radical NO priests, who do so much harm to the faithful, ignore the fact that the 1962 Missal was never abrogated and that the faithful are entitled with full permission and grace from the Holy See to avail themselves of it.

    If SSPX could be reconciled to the Church the restoration would be on fast track, but while they continue 'outside' they remain just there...outside.

    From my personal experience of SSPX though I have my doubts there is widespread desire for reconciliation because the faults of the post Vatican II pastoral council are too great for them to...
    "They are obliged to mix with the novelties of Vatican II, the world, and the Novus Ordo. This is the great difference between the Society and Ecclesia Dei groups."



  23. An anecdote that is relevant: I live in Maryland, USA, go to a NO parish that is middling ok in regard to orthodoxy and liturgy. Our parish three years ago had a young parishioner ordained by our Cardinal Archbishop. I don't know the young man well, but he seems pious, manly, orthodox, raised in a totally NO parish.

    Last year, I saw on the web that he offered the TLM, with help from seminarians in DC.

    Things are changing...the old guard will not be here forever...

  24. As long as they continue to assert that Rome needs to "convert" before they will consider reunion, meanwhile insisting that they will not compromise in the least, there will never be a reconciliation.

    Tradition is on the rise, but they are being left behind. They did not recognize the hour of their visitation.

  25. Just like to say, the issue that SSPX has is that if they go back in too soon, they are afraid there will be a reverse in the position of the Church; much harder to break again if things are reversed. It's better for everyone that they maintain a credible Tridentine society that cannot be suppressed, as it means that it's an agenda that the Church constantly has to address. As is the criticism of VII.

    Also, I have a very good friend who will be going into the priest-hood in the ICKS. However, he acts as a sub-deacon in Solemn Masses. Why? Because VII removed the role of sub-deacons entirely, so you no longer have to be "ordained". This is open to interpretation as just anyone doing the role of sub-deacon, yet that isn't allowed in the pre-VII church, which the Tridentine Mass dates to. So you see, even now the EF is open to interpretation. SSPX hold the line that everything should be done according to the book, hence why they're "hard line". They're not, they just want a single standard.

  26. @ Vincent. The practice of laymen acting as subdeacon is pre VII. It was particularly prevalent in France hence the Institute's use of them as the most Francophile of the traditional groups. The only group to use a layman as a subdeacon in Ireland has been the Institute. I could be wrong but I am not aware of the SSPX using laymen as subdeacons.

  27. I think the window has passed.

    Pope Francis isn't going to play the cat and mouse games that have been going on for too many years.

    All the clever language thrown back to the Vatican.

    The Church has bigger projects to work on.

    What has SSPX done for the Church lately? Everyone else is rowing or bailing and SSPX is busy "counting candles on the altar".

  28. Some of the rhetoric of the SSPX has lost its charm to me. We're all thankful for the service rendered in preserving continuity until it once again became possible to live a traditional life within the Church. But if the new Mass really is intrinsically poisonous (and not merely in need of practical and textual reform), and if the Council documents and the post-Vatican II magisterium really is erroneous, then Catholic life is actually impossible, for no one can live the Catholic way of life without submission to his bishop and to the Pope unless he would proclaim that Jesus is not the head of the Church, as Unam Sanctam states. But Jesus defends His Church; Rome never falls. Rather than asking for the conversion of the Catholic Church to their mode of thought, I would like to see the SSPX asking for room within the canonical structure of the Church to live their way of life in obedience to the princes of shepherds God has appointed. Let them seek not only submission to "eternal Rome", but to Peter alive, to whom the Church is currently entrusted. All they need is room to "try to experiment of tradition." If it is from God, it will succeed, if it is not, it will fail. But the SSPX has become to complacent over the years. It seems that they actually enjoy the liberties of rebellion! Obedience is an onerous responsibility to those are used to inventing their own interpretation of tradition. They are Catholics! let them seek to live as Catholics do, in submission rather than rebellion.


  29. Mr. Gryniewicz:

    Spot-on. I have exactly the same sentiments and thoughts on this whole matter, and pray daily that the wound will be healed.

  30. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Mr. Gryniewicz,
    I agree with you. I know a few priests of the SSPX and many more lay people. I use to attend one of their chapels, but I too have grown tired of the SSPX rhetoric. It has only gotten more and more extreme these days because of the split that has happened within their organization.

    I would like to tell Bishop Fellay and any other SSPX member or mass attendee, I understand your position, I've read all the problems with the Novus Ordo Mass and Vatican 2. I've questioned the Novus Ordo Mass myself but then that led to questioning the faith as I felt unable to trust the hierarchy of the church itself which led me to a wasteland. If the Novus Ordo is "evil" as you believe than how can Sisters such as the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne partake of this liturgy day after day and continue their work of selfless service to incurable cancer patients, imitating Christ and St. Dominic? If the Novus Ordo is "evil" how is it possible that other religious orders such as the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist flourish to the extent they have? Or the Dominican Friars who have experienced a surge in vocations? The Franciscans? The up-tick in cloistered vocations? There are many, many other examples. How is this possible if these people are being fed "poison" as you are leading people to believe? The answer to all these questions is: It is not possible.

    Yes, the SSPX has provided a service to many people seeking refuge from the nonsense that goes on in far too many Catholic parishes, but the rhetoric of the SSPX is also leading many people astray and away from the Church. This is harsh but it is true.

    I pray this matter between the SSPX is resolved once and for all. Either the SSPX submits to the Magisterium and Her authority and all that that entails (accepting V2 and the Novus Ordo Mass), or they simply go their own way and live as a parallel church with their own hierarchy, their own tribunals, etc. etc. Sadly I think it will be the latter. So be it.

  31. From this interview it is clear that Bishop Fellay is contemplating the ordination of new SSPX Bishops. If that happens then the SSPX will be clearly and undeniably in Schism.

    When Archbishop Lefebvre performed the 1988 Ordinations he was clearly and unambiguously a Catholic Bishop in Communion with Rome and part of the hierarchy of Bishops ordained with the approval of Rome so there was still wriggle room for SSPX to argue that they were not a schismatic body.

    However Bishop Fellay is not a a Catholic Bishop in Communion with Rome and part of the hierarchy of Bishops ordained with the approval of Rome so if he ordains other Bishops then there is no doubt that the SSPX has set itself up as a separate Church on the same basis as the Orthodox Church.

    Yes the Ordinations will be cononically valid but they will be schismatic. I would be sorry to see that happen but as the negotiations with the SSPX dragged on I became more and more convinced that the SSPX do not want to reconcile because they have fallen for the sin of Pride and assume they are the only real Catholics left.

    The future of Traditionalism now relys not on the SSPX but on the FSSP and ICSP and similar groups authentically traditionalist but also in good standing with the rest of the Church

  32. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Neil, how is Fellay not in full communion? He was in full communion once Benefict lifted the excommunication. Has something happened since and he was excommunicated again?!

    The only way you're not in communion is if you're excommunicated. Having faculties to admninister the sacraments is another debate. But no one can say the Society bishops are not in full communion when the lifting of the excommunications prove they are.

  33. The SSPX made a very honorable request to Rome. They cited a certain situation in the Church when a group much like the Society could not come to terms with what was being proposed by the Church. The Pope at that time allowed for these obstacles, to be set aside and that group was reconciled. The SSPX requested of Rome the same thing. To set aside their questioning of Religious Liberty and the relationship with the Jews and allow the reconciliation to happen. Why was their honorable request not approved? Its my understanding that modernists in Rome who reject the whole Council for their own invented Council prevented it. It is well known that modernist heretics have been working overtime to prevent the approval of the Society. Perhaps they know that with an approval of the Society, the condemnation of modernism as the "Mother of all heresies" by St. Pius X will once again be strictly enforced.

  34. "Angelo Can you please tell me who this group are who
    "could not come to terms with what was being proposed by the Church".

    What was their status, when did this happen, who was the Pope and what is their status today ?

  35. If the New Mass was not written, the Church would not have today's problems to begin with.

  36. Alfredo I said
    "Bishop Fellay is not a Catholic Bishop in Communion with Rome and part of the hierarchy of Bishops ordained with the approval of Rome"

    I did not merely say he was not in Communion. He may be a Catholic in Communion but he is not a Catholic Bishop in Communion.

    In any event the question could be asked how far Bishop Fellay and the other Bishops and Priests of the SPX are themsleves willing to be "in Communion" with other Catholics.

    Would Bishop Fellay or any other SSPX Priest accept Communion from the Pope at a Mass celebrated according to the Novus Ordo ? Would they accept Communion at a Tridentine Mass offered by a Catholic Priest who also offers the Novus Ordo Mass ?

    Being "in Communion" is a two way process. If Bichop Fellay and the other Priests in the SSPX will not accept Communion offered by other validly ordained Catholic Priests and Bishops then they are not "in Communion" by their own wish

  37. Neil Addison, I do not recall which was the group that the SSPX held up as an example, nor the details. Only that it was proposed to Pope Benedict XVl. I would like to do some back research and find out who the group was, when it happened and which Pope granted this. I at the time thought it to be the perfect solution. And I still believe it to be the perfect solution, for now at least. The Modernists who have replaced the Council with their own Council, demand that the Society accept their personal interpretation of V2.One point was when Archbishop De Noia made it clear to the SSPX that the Jews need not convert. The SSPX shot back and pointed to the Archbishop where in the Council Documents it says that the Jews must convert to Jesus Christ. That was an exhilarating moment. I would like to see the Society and the liberals in Rome in an open debate. This would prove fruitful for those of us who defend Our Faith.

  38. Anonymous4:22 PM

    Neil, first, it's Adfero, not Alfredo. Although I do love the sauce so I take no offense.

    Second, the strawman you built up and failed to knock down is a silly one. Of course they wouldn't take communion at a Novus Ordo Mass -- and neither would I, and neither would I allow my children to, because I wouldn't take any of us to a Novus Ordo Mass.

    But, if that's the criteria, then you couldn't find an FSSP priest who is in your view of "full communion" either.

  39. Adfero: My apologies for spelling your name incorrectly, that was not intentional on my part.

    Would you not even attend a Novus Ordo offered by the Pope himself ?

    Would you not go to a Novus Ordo if that was the only Catholic Mass available on a Sunday ?

    I am not setting up a strawman I am pointing out the capacity of the SSPX Priests including Bishop Fellay to self excommunicate themselves.

  40. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Neil, no offense taken, of course.

    And, I have had the opportunity to attend a papal Mass and, yes, I declined to. There's a number of reasons for this, the chief among them being the way Christ is given to those in attendance, and to whom it's given. In America, it's one public/political heretic after another receiving Christ sacrilegiously, and I will never be a part of that.

    On your second question, the only way I'd attend the Novus Ordo is that a TLM was over three hours away, and every Eastern Rite Mass was gone. So, in other words, it's a scenario I'll most likely never have to face.

    In fact, with the rampant abuses, and the heresy so often spewed from the pulpit, I won't even take my kids to funerals or weddings of family anymore. It's calling hours and receptions only. I just won't put their innocence at risk.

  41. Adfero: To return to my initial point. Bishop Fellay appears to be contemplating the ordination of new SSPX Bishops.

    If that happens then the SSPX will be clearly and undeniably in Schism and will have set itself up as a separate Denomination and will have left the Catholic Church.

    I will be sorry to see that but it now seems apparent that SSPX would rather stay outside the Church rather than helping to restore it

  42. Anonymous5:57 PM

    Neil, again, you said "stay outside the Church." This isn't semantics -- you're incorrect in labeling them that. I think you should read up more on what excommunication -- and the lifting of an excommunication -- really means. You can't be inside and outside the Church at the same time like you can't be a little bit pregnant. And if you're not excommunicated, either formally or automatically, then you're not outside the Church. Which is why Benedict said they were inside the Church in an "irregular position."

    Whether another consecration -- they consecrate bishops, not ordain them -- takes place, it'll only be for Rome to decide if that means schism.

    Even before the excommunications were lifted, Rome said they weren't in schism many of times. Cardinal Castrillon made it sort of a mantra of his own. So if they only consecrate to continue to be able to ordain priests, confirm children, etc., maybe they won't be found to be in schism. Maybe they will. We won't know unless/until it happens and Rome officially speaks.

  43. Physiocrat, please, do not insist.

  44. Where Peter is, there the Church is.

    You must have the faith of little Children.


  45. I go mostly to a NO parish, and grit my teeth.

    However, hasn't anyone here read Graham Greene? I mean, one can go to a TLM every week, and sin like there's no tomorrow.

    I am reading Fr. John Croiset's book on the Sacred Heart of Our Lord--there was plenty of indifference, etc, then...that's why Christ gave us the Devotion to His Sacred Heart...more than 300 years ago!

    Yes, the NO is an inferior rite; it is still Christ on their altars...

  46. In the past decades I have obtained abundant Graces at the Novus Ordo Missae. The New Mass is valid of course, but not the liturgical abuses. For health reasons I cannot attend the Most Holy Tridentine Mass. I found ways to make the Novus Ordo most profitable. I wear ear plugs. I pray all of the ordinary of the Mass in Latin. I also Pray the Holy Rosary during Mass, as I consider it a liturgical prayer. And most of all I pray the Mass as St. Leonard described it in the book "Hidden Treasure". Modernists have nothing over me!

  47. I think the beginning of a solution for traditionalists, is to simply appeal to, write to, petition the Holy Father.
    "your Holiness, why are you so flippant with one of the most 'non-careerist' element of the Church? Keep it up and we will pray 150,000 Rosaries for you!"

    The Pope simply does have some 'progressive' reflexes which will no doubt continue to cause us indigestion. I feel he knows he must take strong action against the homosexual lobby and so he wants to appear to be 'even-handed', hence the gratuitous slap at a caricature of 'pelagian' traditionalists gets thrown in with his ominous admission of the 'gay lobby' s existence--and the need to 'do something about it'. Until that admission, one risked being thought 'paranoid' or a wingnut to have mentioned the homosexual agenda within the clergy.

    If for us traditionalists, receiving a little ridicule is the price for eradicating the homosexual lobby and sending many homosexual priests to either penitentiaries for the penitent or else penitentiaries for the un-penitent, then I say : Bring it on!

    Mind you, I don't see Francis saying there is a 'need to do something about' traditionalists..other than that they should learn to phrase themselves differently when they address him.

    Nor did the Holy Father hint at disgorging traditionalists of their he did towards the, mostly-progressive orders, who have failed to produce vocations and who no-doubt have endowments.

    Many of you who comment seem to have bet against Francis...i.e. you have already predicted he would be a nightmare. This causes you to be silent or even blind to some of his very Extraordinary Form friendly bishop appointments.


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