Rorate Caeli

Card. Koch: SSPX decision on consecrating new bishops coming "soon"

From the Austrian newspaper, Nachrichten:

The first part of the interview, in which the following passage is situated, deals with ecumenism. First there are some questions about the dialogue with the Protestants, as well as a question about progressive and conservative tendencies within the church, and if inner-church ecumenism is required. Then the interviewer asks the Cardinal:

But doesn't this [inner-church dialogue and reconciliation] take place in a very unequal way? Rome does talk with the extremely conservative and difficult Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X. There is no such thing with the progressives.

Card. Koch: "There is a fundamental difference here: On the one hand there are movements and initiatives, on the other hand, there is the Fraternity, which has clear ecclesiastical structures. The Fraternity is faced with the difficult decision of soon consecrating new Bishops [without a mandate from Rome, note from the original author of the article]. If that happens, the end of any form of dialogue has come. This is why it was a concern to Pope Benedict XVI to prevent a schism. In his opinion the church had not, in the past, done everything it could have done to prevent schisms. That is a completely different situation from the one with the reform movements. Needless to say that there must be talks with them, too."

[h/t: reader]

Rorate note. We believe the eminent Cardinal is, with all due respect, mistaken: any such decision by the Society of Saint Pius X is not at all forthcoming, or soon, or any similar term that is preferred.


  1. While the SSPX has noted that it would consecrate more bishops if the conditions warranted such action, it also noted that the conditions did not exist at this time.

    God Bless!!!

  2. And where would His Eminence be getting this information?

  3. The tail is trying to wag the dog.

  4. My uncle, who is an Society priest, told me that Bishop Fellay informed him [my uncle] that the Society will not ordain any more bishops until they are regularized.

  5. poeta said...

    "And where would His Eminence be getting this information?"

    Oh, I bet he had one of them mystical experiences ;-)

  6. ". . . the Society will not ordain any more bishops until they are regularized."

    If true the Society has given away its trump card.

  7. The SSPX must consecrate new bishops, given the dubious validity of the new rites of priestly ordination and episcopal consecration. Archbishop Lefebvre founded the SSPX to save the Catholic priesthood. Before God there would be no schism if they act with that intention to meet that very real need.

  8. In the face of the left leaning anti-tradition moves of this unfortunate Pontificate, I would think that the SSPX would have no alternative to assure its episcopal continuity but by consecrating new bishops, at some point in the future, anyway.

  9. Seems like a Catholic "soon" -- AKA, in the next few decades.


  10. If they consecrate new bishops, it will be a very sad day for Catholics, assuming their situation is as it is now.

    They should work with this new Pope, and get faculties.

  11. When Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated Bishops without Papal mandate, I was certainly devastated. As Bl. John Paul ll was set to consecrate a successor to him from among his own priests. But I was happy when Pope Benedict XVl lifted the excommunications. If the SSPX were to Consecrate more Bishops without Papal Mandate today, it might be different than 1988. With Rome's present anti Traditionalist movement, I wonder if it would be justified? Considering, the Church must continue moving forward in light of Tradition.

  12. One cannot help but think of the reverberations from Obama's line in the sand.

  13. If they do consecrate, they will wait until the situation irreformably says they can no longer wait. These are good and faithful men who have preserved the gift of Lefebvre to the Church with fidelity and remarkable insight. I trust them. We must pray about these things.

  14. I trust the SSPX. They have behaved with prudence and reverence. I do not trust the offices of Rome. So there is no need to worry. And little reason to hope Rome will act sanely. Probably better for the SSPX to be separate anyway, where it can shine its light without suffocation in prolix Roman announcements that tend to obfusicate and cloud as much as make clear.

  15. Anonymous1:50 AM

    @ Angelo

    It was justified in 1988, and will be justified when the time comes to do it again (unless we truly believe Rome will denounce heresy and apostasy and repent, in the foreseeable future).

    I don't usually go to SSPX chapels (though that may change), but have no doubt that Abp. Lefebvre did what he had to do. None of us would be here today without him. He was a holy man and a great Catholic hero.

  16. So:

    +Fellay has said recently and quite publicly that he will consecrate when the press of business requires it. He also said that at the moment there is no need for any more bishops.

    Now Mr. Dan Hunter advises that +Fellay has told one (count 'em, one) of his [unidentified] confreres that he will not consecrate until regularization.

    There is, of course, no prospect of regularization in the near future. The Society and the Vatican remain at doctrinal loggerheads.

    So this is effectively to say that the Society is prepared to give effective control of the whole issue of the number of SSPX bishops to the Vatican.

    That the Society would do this is utterly preposterous.

    Presumably somebody misunderstood something.

  17. Anonymous4:43 AM

    Is this propaganda? Koch trying to stir up something, work people up to spaz level so as to affect public opinion again? We've seen this before. Besides, how would he know and what is be blabbing this?


  18. No wonder that garrulous uncles (...) nephews.

  19. I wonder with which of the seemingly endless string of liberal dissident "reform movements" does he feels the need to negotiate.

  20. I, for one, am grateful to Dan Hunter for his report. There is a complex web of things here and I am grateful to hear of any strand.

    Thank you, Dan!

    And while I am in the business of thanking people, let me also express my gratitude to P.T.K.P. - who not only recently expressed some moving things here about the Latin Mass in the Czech Republic, but made a very cryptic remark about Fellay and Ratzinger in dialogue still ...

    P.T.K.P. I miss your reports about the spread of TLM, post-Summorum Pontificum.

    Just want you to know your work is appreciated ...


  21. With homosexual and Marxist hands in the Vatican pot, the result will never be true equality or Christianity. Bergoglio's Liberation Theologians are, per their mentor, solidifying the *conflict* of Traditional Catholicism VS. Progressivism. His buddies are unflinching in their resolve to stimulate change via selective, discriminatory *ecumenism*. With change, rather than Truth as a goal, SSPX would bet opt out of any affrontery masked as *offers of peace*. To Rome, utilizing the complacency and blind obedience of the uninformed in the class struggle of Tradition VS Progressivism is key. It is not Christ that such politics drives the faithful toward.

  22. Firstly, anybody who thinks that JPII was willing and ready to grant the Archbishop a successor from among his own priests needs a reality check. The Archbishop sent a great deal of files on who he thought would make a good bishop for the Society and JPII rejected every last one of them. JPII was stalling and was hoping the Archbishop would die. In fact just before the Consecrations, "the powers that were" offered him a ride back to Rome for more endless you really think he would have made it to Rome? Nope. The papers would have read: "Leader of radical Catholic group dies in car crash days before his act of schism!"

    Secondly, I pray that Bishop Williamson consecrates bishops soon! I have been a Catholic for 3 years now (all three years in the SSPX) and I have no interest in placing myself under Modernist bishops. After all, if the SSPX is regularized (and the poison has already killed the Society without an agreement) it will just be another limp noodle group against Modernist Rome, bishops or no bishops.

    Only Our Lady can save us now.

  23. "...........John Paul ll was set to consecrate a successor to him from among his own priests."

    the only thing John Paul II did was to offer a bishop who would ordain his priests & confirm the laity. Cardinal Ratzinger was to organise this. Frankly, Archbishop Lefebvre did not trust Ratzinger which in view of things said & done at the time & in the build up to that, he was justified not to do so. John Paul II was also under plenty of pressure from western European bishops not to give any concessions at all.

  24. Back in the days when we Traditional Catholics rejoiced when Rome let it be known that the then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bl. John Paul ll had signed an agreement. Rome let it known that Bl. John Paul ll asked Lefebvre for a list of 4 of his priests for consideration as his successor. Rome "The Mistress of Truth" did not accept Lefebvre's list and the Pope asked him for another list. Lefebvre then went renegade on his signature of the Document on the grounds Rome could not be trusted. It was rumored at that time by reliable sources that Lefebvre was to be raised to the Cardinalate by John Paul ll. I followed those moments very carefully, and it was clear to all that Lefebvre acted irresponsibly. Because of the truth of those days, today we have the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) as proof of this. Let us not distort what is now history. Lies are the work of modernists and not Traditionalists.

  25. Can anyone recommend a good book on traditionalism over the past 40 years, covering the traditionalist world both within and outside of the SSPX?

  26. The driving force behind Rome's agreeing to negotiate with Archbishop Lefebvre was his making it quite clear if he did not get a bishop for tradition, he would consecrate himself.

    For Rome's bobbing and weaving on this matter, see Fr. Laisney's collection of the relevant documents, "Archbishop Lefebvre and the Vatican."

    I spend a fair amount of time rubbing the Williamsonites' noses in the facts of the case.

    It appears that I have to do the same with the supporters of the FSSP.

  27. Angelo: Your second comment is big on rumor mongering and "clear to all" bravado, but woefully short on facts. As it happens, the facts of this affair—which brings little but shame down upon a devious and materially dishonest Rome—are a matter of public record available to all who'd sooner trust what you'd doubtless dub their lying eyes than your distortion-ridden blather.

  28. Wow Angelo, Your amazing, I wonder those "reliable sources" bothered to tell anyone other than you. Actually when you consider it was 'clear to all' that Archbishop Lefebvre was acting irresponsibly it is amazing that anyone followed him. If only they had you to guide them. Poor souls...

  29. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Angelo, the only rumor I've ever heard from a reliable source was that, in the event of an agreement, Pope John Paul II was going to go to Econe and do the consecrations for the SSPX in the Traditional Rite as a sign of unity. I've never heard anything about Lefebvre being made a Cardinal. It would have been a great honor, but I doubt the Archbishop could care less about such things at that point. His modus operandi was to preserve the Catholic priesthood and Mass, and the events of the last 25 five years show conclusive proof that the consecrations were necessary.

  30. The Cardinal says, in the case of new bishops ordinations, this would end in a schism: "If that happens, the end of any form of dialogue has come"
    Well, our orthodox brothers are in schism with the RCC since 1054 and the "dialogue" between them and the RCC never was so intense.
    Therefore the situation isn't so desperate as he thinks.

  31. Angelo,
    I always appreciate the passion of your comments, but you're dead wrong about Archbishop Lefebvre. He did more for the anti-modernist programme, so clearly close to your heart, than any other man of the last half of the 20th c. Thank God he defied the Roman authorities, and thank God he consecrated Catholic bishops for Tradition! Knowing all that we know, do you honestly believe he did not, by his courage and the grace of God, save the Roman Mass in a time of dire trial? God be praised, time has proven the wisdom of his decision.

  32. I agree with Mike re Angelo's comments in general and Archbishop Lefebvre.

    Honestly, Angelo, the more you read about him the more you know what a saintly man he truly was. He foresaw all the mess that the Church is in today.

    O yes , he was a good one alright.

    I am not of the FSSPX, just for your interest...

  33. Angelo, your "facts" - though "evident to all" - are quite mistaken. Msgr. Lefebvre sent the Holy Father the names of eight candidates for consecration, not four, and all eight were rejected. More importantly, the Pope refused to specify a date on which the consecrations would be permitted. The protocol was signed on May 5, 1988. Lefebvre first requested August 15 for the consecrations. This was refused. He requested September 8. Again refused. He requested November 1. Refused. He requested somewhere around Christmas, 1988. Yet again, refused. What was truly "obvious to all" was that there was never any intention of allowing this tired, ill, saintly warrior bishop to consecrate anybody. Finally, I know for a fact that none of the four bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, were among the eight names originally submitted to and rejected by the Holy Father. Lefebvre did everything he could possibly do - short of dying without leaving a traditional bishop for the SSPX - first to resolve the matter, and then to avoid the appearance of schism when he had to consecrate. The same thing will happen again if Rome remains as disingenuous as it has always been in dealing with the Society. Fellay will eventually have to consecrate new bishops. When is anybody's guess, but he will not leave the faithful at the mercy of modernist Rome.

  34. Cardinal Koch's major problem is the advice he relies on from major jewish figures. This is a characteristic flaw in many leading churchmen today. They have no confidence in their faith anymore...not even mustard seed size. Poor men...poor souls.

  35. I have only remembered the facts of 1988, as I lived those days following every detail that concerned Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Today in 2013, one must separate fact from fiction. When the announcement was made of the agreement signed by Ratzinger, Lefebvre and the Holy Father I immediately became an adherent of the SSPX. On the Sunday before the Episcopal Consecrations, I sadly attended the beloved SSPX Chapel that I attended to say goodbye to it. Lefebvre broke the hearts of many. Even the hearts of his own Priests, such that a group of his Priests asked Rome to accept them into union with the Church. Thus the FSSP was born and today the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has so many vocations that their only crisis is that they have not enough room for all the young men who wish to enter the Priesthood. I dare say I am speaking from the EXPERIENCE of living those days Mind, Body, Heart and Soul. The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are my witnesses.

  36. No, Angelo, the FSSP has another crisis: they are only allowed to celebrate the TLM, for the many thousands of Catholics who have requested it, when the local bishops invites them into the diocese. If he decides to shut them out, they cannot play any role in the restoration of the Catholic liturgy. Example: the Diocese of Steubenville. When he was Superior General of the FSSP, Fr. Arnaud Devillers offered TWO priests to Bishop Gilbert Sheldon. However, Sheldon, who was then busy closing parish after parish due to a shortage of priests, made it plain that he would rather continue closing parishes rather than permit the FSSP to minister in "his" diocese. Thus, no FSSP here. Thank God for the SSPX !

  37. @Angelo

    "Lefebvre broke the hearts of many."

    Maybe. What is clear is that on June 30, 1988, Lefebvre broke the back of modernist delusion. He threw a wrench in the works, God be praised! And though we still struggle through the darkness of Rome, the blessings from the Archbishop's holy action that day are found flowering on God's earth today as never before, against the desolation.

  38. Angelo,

    There are thousands of good Catholics that want to assist at the TLM, but their respective Ordinaries refuse to bring the Fraternity into their diocese.

    I should know. I am one of them.
    [maybe not a good Catholic, but Catholic nonetheless]

    Thank Almighty God for the FSSPX who do not operate under this form of tyranny.

  39. Bl. John Paul ll was chosen as the successor to St. Peter towards the end of 1978. On October of 1984 the year of the Consecration as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, the Holy Father issued the Indult for the Latin Tridentine Mass. He asked the Bishops of the world to be GENEROUS in its application. Some have a problem with the word "Indult". Allow me to clarify this. Any Priest when receiving Holy Orders is granted an "Indult" (Permission) to say Mass, hear Confessions and administer the Sacraments. When Bl. John Paul ll granted the Indult he was blasted by the Bishops of the world. The Bishops accused him of violating Vatican ll on Collegiality. Bl. John Paul ll ferociously blasted back saying to the Bishops Publicly so that the whole world would be aware, "In the beginning of 1980 I sent all of you a letter asking you to tell me if there were among the faithful in your respective Dioceses a desire for the Missal of St. Pius V. Most of you did not respond to my letter and those of you who did, assured me that in your respective Dioceses there was absolutely no desire for the Old Missal. And yet each week I receive thousands of letters from your very Dioceses requesting the Ancient Mass in Latin.". So my point is that before and after his Election, Bl. John Paul ll had the restoration of the TLM in mind. So lets put things in perspective, Bl. John Paul ll did more for the TLM than Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. So if one looks closely at that period, Bl. John Paul ll was the one to do the most for the restoration of the TLM, while Lefebvre did a great deal and at the same time attempted to manipulate the Holy Father. Lets face facts, the Holy Father Bl. John Paul ll was more instrumental in the restoration of the TLM than Lefebvre. Go back and restudy the history of it all.


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