Society of St. Pius X General Chapter Statement and Vatican response

July 19, 2012
DICI.org

As announced in the press communiqué of the Society of St. Pius X’s General House on July 14, 2012, the members of the General Chapter sent a common statement to Rome. It has been published today. During the interview published at DICI on July 16, Bishop Bernard Fellay stated that this document was “the occasion to specify the (SSPX’s) road map insisting upon the conservation of the Society’s identity, the only efficacious means to help the Church to restore Christendom”. “For,” he said, “doctrinal mutism is not the answer to this “silent apostasy”, which even John Paul II denounced already in 2003.”

At the conclusion of the General Chapter of the Society of St. Pius X, gathered together at the tomb of its venerated founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and united with its Superior General, the participants, bishops, superiors, and most senior members of the Society elevate to Heaven our heartfelt thanksgiving, grateful for the 42 years of marvelous Divine protection over our work, amidst a Church in crisis and a world which distances itself farther from God and His law with each passing day.

We wish to express our gratitude to each and every member of our Society: priests, brothers, sisters, third order members; to the religious communities close to us and also to our dear faithful, for their constant dedication and for their fervent prayers on the occasion of this Chapter, marked by frank exchanges of views and by a very fruitful common work. Every sacrifice and pain accepted with generosity has contributed to overcome the difficulties which the Society has encountered in recent times. We have recovered our profound unity in its essential mission: to preserve and defend the Catholic Faith, to form good priests, and to strive towards the restoration of Christendom. We have determined and approved the necessary conditions for an eventual canonical normalization. We have decided that, in that case, an extraordinary Chapter with deliberative vote will be convened beforehand.

We must never forget that the sanctification of the souls always starts within ourselves. It is the fruit of a faith which becomes vivifying and operating by the work of charity, according to the words of St. Paul: “For we can do nothing against the truth: but for the truth” (cf. II Cor., XIII, 8), and “as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it… that it should be holy and without blemish” (cf. Eph. V, 25 s.).

The Chapter believes that the paramount duty of the Society, in the service which it intends to offer to the Church, is to continue, with God’s help, to profess the Catholic Faith in all its purity and integrity, with a determination matching the intensity of the constant attacks to which this very Faith is subjected nowadays.

For this reason it seems opportune that we reaffirm our faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the unique Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation nor possibility to find the means leading to salvation; our faith in its monarchical constitution, desired by Our Lord himself, by which the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth; our faith in the universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of both the natural and the supernatural orders, to Whom every man and every society must submit.

The Society continues to uphold the declarations and the teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church in regard to all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors, and also in regard to the reforms issued from it. We find our sure guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its teaching authority, transmits the revealed Deposit of Faith in perfect harmony with the truths that the entire Church has professed, always and everywhere.

The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.

We wish to unite ourselves to the others Christians persecuted in different countries of the world who are now suffering for the Catholic Faith, some even to the extent of martyrdom. Their blood, shed in union with the Victim of our altars, is the pledge for a true renewal of the Church in capite et membris, according to the old saying sanguis martyrum semen christianorum.

Finally, we turn our eyes to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is also jealous of the privileges of her Divine Son, jealous of His glory, of His Kingdom on earth as in Heaven. How often has she intervened for the defense, even the armed defense, of Christendom against the enemies of the Kingdom of Our Lord! We entreat her to intervene today to chase the enemies out from inside the Church who are trying to destroy it more radically than its enemies from outside. May she deign to keep in the integrity of the Faith, in the love of the Church, in devotion to the Successor of Peter, all the members of the Society of St. Pius X and all the priests and faithful who labor alongside the Society, in order that she may both keep us from schism and preserve us from heresy.

“May St. Michael the Archangel inspire us with his zeal for the glory of God and with his strength to fight the devil.

“May St. Pius X share with us a part of his wisdom, of his learning, of his sanctity, to discern the true from the false and the good from the evil in these times of confusion and lies.” (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre; Albano, October 19, 1983).

Given at Ecône, on the 14th of July of the Year of the Lord 2012

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31 comments on “Society of St. Pius X General Chapter Statement and Vatican response

  1. VATICAN RESPONSE

    Link to Vatican Website

    The recently concluded General Chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X has addressed a Declaration regarding the possibility of a canonical normalization in the relationship of the Fraternity and the Holy See. While it has been made public, the Declaration remains primarily an internal document for study and discussion among the members of the Fraternity.

    The Holy See has taken note of this Declaration, but awaits the forthcoming official Communication of the Priestly Fraternity as their dialogue with the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” continues.

  2. In the Vatican’s response referring to continuing dialogue with Ecclesia Dei, I think they failed to comprehend this statement made by the SSPX, “…our faith in its monarchical constitution, desired by Our Lord himself, by which the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth; …”
    (emphasis mine)

  3. “………as their dialogue with the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” continues.”

    A telling little phrase, methinks, and one that hasn’t drawn much attention yet.

  4. “We have determined and approved the necessary conditions for an eventual canonical normalization. We have decided that, in that case, an extraordinary Chapter with deliberative vote will be convened beforehand.”

    O.K., that’s nice and all, but are you in, out, or still thinking about it? I am not a big fan of diplomatic language (I know, what a shock!), but for an outfit that makes “SI SI NO NO” a battle cry, there’s not exactly an abundance of communication in this communiqué.

    • Etcum, are you sure this is ‘diplomatic language’? First of all, the document clearly says we are out. Second, “we have determined and approved the necessary conditions for an eventual canonical normalization” means that rather there being any uncertainty (or room for indiscretion) in the mind of whomever is the current superior of SSPX, that the organization has established through discussion the conditions acceptable to the organization for normalization–the canonical structure, the acceptable wording for future discussion of the Council, and other issues. And then, to accept any deal, a meeting of the Chapter is required. The second and third conditions are both steps to build unity and dispel panic among SSPX members such as we saw in this last round–an attempt to isolate and attack Bishop Fellay that was unbelievably fierce. It isn’t diplomatic language. We are out, until the conditions set by the Chapter are fulfilled. That is rather the opposite of wiggle. What you and I don’t know, what we want to know, is–what are those conditions?

      We may get to know those. It would seem to me, after the struggle we just went through, because these conditions belong to SSPX, they could be released, and besides, a large number of people helped draft them, which probably means it will be impossible to keep them unknown. What they did is like saying to what quality the steel used in a proposed bridge must be, to what thickness the cable, how far apart the cables, and so forth. They set the conditions for the agreement, which was lacking and up to the superior to interpret alone, very divisive. (Just because the pope may act alone, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, does not mean the superiors of religious organizations may do likewise, and they usually do not, in my experience. Seems like there is always discussion before large decisions. Like, remember St. Vincent de Paul’s meeting with the sisters, over continuing the work of the abandoned babies? He needed their permission.)

      • “Etcum, are you sure this is ‘diplomatic language’? First of all, the document clearly says we are out.”

        Where does it say that?

        • It wouldn’t have coined that ecellent term ‘mutism’ if SSPX hadn’t been asked to be mute, and rejects it. Next, if we were ‘in,’ don’t you think the document would have discused that? Rather than newly defined conditions for being ‘in’? Then, it attacks the novelties of the Council AGAIN after De Noia could not have stated more firmly that this position is unacceptable–I have the link if you cannot find it, but that was just a couple of weeks ago, easy to find–and last it once again reaffirms SSPX’s standing by the ‘constant Tradition,’ a clear rebuke to Muller who says that the Tradition part is not constant but may be changed by the Church. Which is cannot be.

          Really, etcum, it was Rome rejected SSPX, putting forward a new deal, the one that demanded ‘mutuism,’ which could not be accepted by Bishop Fellay with destroying SSPX, us, and the Church. We haven’t ever seen this deal yet, we have had to infer it by reading the announcements of De Noia and Muller and others. This document confirms what everyone else apparently (but you–but I don’t hold that against you!) has already long since concluded: no deal, not for a while, and now SSPX’s principles are much more explicit than before, if Rome had an idea they could play SSPX, that chance passed. They took off their sheepskins a moment too soon.

          • In other words, it doesn’t say that. It may or may not mean that, but it doesn’t say that. Thank you.

            • “The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.”

              Etcum, if you ever ask a girl to marry you and she says that she’s waiting for the day when your proposal does not make her nauseous, wouldn’t you take her answer to be in the negative? No? If you were to say to your friends, well, she didn’t say No, they’d pat you and murmur, Dude, get help.

              • If I asked a girl to marry me, and she did not wish to do so, I would hope that the conversation would go something like this:

                ECS: “Edwinetta, will you marry me?”

                Edwinetta: “No, thank you.”

                ECS: “I am disappointed, but at least I know where we stand.”

                However, if Edwinetta wrote communiques for the SSPX, it would go like this :

                ECS: “Edwinetta, will you marry me?”

                Edwinetta: “Edwinetta finds her guide as well in the constant Tradition of Femininity, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve femininity and the womanly pursuits, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the an ideal state of matrimony to be a viable consideration.”

                ECS: “What are you talking about? I need a drink.”

      • “because these conditions belong to SSPX, they could be released, and besides, a large number of people helped draft them, which probably means it will be impossible to keep them unknown”

        I did not mean to prophesy here! But apparently they were leaked already and there’s a great broohaha everywhere on the internet about it. And I guess it is indeed as horrible a crime as everyone is making it out to be. But on the other hand, these conditions are exactly what all of us want to know, and need to know if we’re going to continue our education and hence our ability to resist. There’s nothing wrong with us knowing them, or with the world knowing them, and much to be gained from knowing them (like, a more interested audience to whatever round of ‘discussions’ will come–that doesn’t hurt, remember the old chant? The Whole World is Watching, The Whole World is Watching). What if them getting leaked rather than officially released by Bishop Fellay is the only way to get that done? He couldn’t do it himself without accusations of unfair play.

        I still haven’t found the actual conditions, what will all the condemnation of the leakers and the pricing of copiers.

        • This ended up in the wrong place. I wanted it under a previous comment I’d made that used those words. Sorry.

          • Oh, thank you for the link. Right. Nothing unexpected, except the organization of the conditions–the sine qua non conditions and the desireable conditions. In the first set, do you know what ‘the commitment of at least one bishop means’? That Rome will permit the consecration of another bishop? And number 3 in the desireable conditions, ‘3.The Pontifical Commission for the tradition of Rome, which depends directly from the Pope, with the majority of the members and the president in favour of tradition. ‘ Are they saying they want a commission like this to be established?

            Alright. Now the world can see. It’s about the right to criticize the Council, and only to celebrate the traditional mass. I’m glad.

            Thanks, Landofirish

  5. It’s amazing the SSPX are trying to uphold the monarchial power of the Pope more than the Pope is.

    • Yes they are. Do you know, the post-Council leadership has done something very interesting. Collegiality failed at the Council–if I remember, Conger’s famous memo got busted (where he said, don’t worry about the vagueness of the language, we know what we’re going to do with it once we get the wedge in the door), Paul VI read the leaked memo and got freaked, and in short, it didn’t happen. But the funny thing is–they act as if it did! They act as if collegiality passed! I’ve run into this before and I bet you have too, in other contexts–acting as if a certain law were in force when it’s not. I guess it’s a time honored trick. I have an awkward post about this on my blog that probably is fresher than my memory about Conger’s memo. It’s a revealing event, about the Council and its politics.

      thewhitelilyblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/take-me-to-your-leader-if-you-know-who-he-is/

  6. For what it is worth, I find the document to be disappointing. It is very weak and ambiguous to say the least. I would have expect something better than that.

    I think that it simply means that we are in for a rocky time a head. Let’s pray that the priests and faithful remain level headed.

    Let’s continue to pray for the guidance of the Holy Ghost upon the SSPX and it’s superiors.

    • I don’t see anything ambiguous about it. They stated Catholic beliefs, e.g. “extra ecclesiam null sales”. They dished “collegiality” by stressing monarchy and the supreme power of Church government belongs only to the Pope. They repeated for the umpteenth time that Vatican II has errors.

      What did you expect them to do: sign off on something they didn’t believe or refuse all future “dialogue” with Rome?

  7. No. I expected greater clarity. For example it states that: ‘We have determined and approved the necessary conditions for an eventual canonical normalization.’ – And yet it lacks the clarity as to what this implies.

    We shall wait and see.

  8. Agree, McDee! The slow dance with EC has been going on for almost a year, gotten absolutely nowhere, and the current dance partner is a heretic who is known to despise the SSPX (he thinks all four bishops should resign).

    If Pope Benedict could go behind Walter Kasper’s back and welcome the Anglicans, he can certainly do the the same with Mueller and the SSPX.

    • There’s a pretty big difference there. Mueller is the guy he just put into that position. I don’t think he’s going to put him there just to chop him down. Unfortunately, it’s more likely that Mueller’s words are the Pope’s own thoughts, just expressed in harsher language.

      I still say that the SSPX should request that the Vatican impose on them in return for canonical regularization the same conditions they demanded of the Jews for the watering down of that Good Friday prayer in the 1962 Missal. If it’s good enough for our “elder brothers”, then they surely can’t demand more of these “youngsters”…

      • Glornt said, “There’s a pretty big difference there. Mueller is the guy he just put into that position.”

        Mueller is no more of a shock in that position than Levada (‘we don’t say transubstantiation anymore”) was. I don’t know what is going through the Pope’s mind in his recent appointments. Puppeteer, i.e., “collegiality” comes to mind.

  9. I still say that the SSPX should request that the Vatican impose on them in return for canonical regularization the same conditions they demanded of the Jews for the watering down of that Good Friday prayer in the 1962 Missal. If it’s good enough for our “elder brothers”, then they surely can’t demand more of these “youngsters”…

    Nothing is ever demanded from ANYONE – inside or outside Holy Church – except traditionalists.

    If anyone should be signing these newly invented “doctrinal preambles,” it should be guys like Muller.

  10. “The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.”

    I thought this was the most pertinent statement. It sounds like, at least to me, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

  11. “We have defined and approved the conditions necessary for a possible canonical normalization. It has been established that, in that case, an extraordinary deliberative chapter would be convoked beforehand.”

    The unity of the SSPX, due to the political shenanigans of Rome, was severely challenged and perhaps even compromised. The Society is saying: from now on, any agreement will be made by an internal agreement of the Society. We will not fall victim to your “divide and conquer” tactics again.

  12. Yes, it is doing that, deconstructing the ‘magic of the Council.’ It’s just amazing how big blog sites will recognize errors in the Council if it relates to their concerns, like abortion, but forget the concept the very next day, the very next time SSPX points this out. That Christ must be King, hoo boy, that’s expendable! It’s like Groundhog Day, every day.

  13. I don’t understand what it is that those who dislike the response, or find it “ambiguous” or lacking in “communication” are reading. To my mind, the response was LOUD and CLEAR.

    Not only is it saying that we flatly refuse to accept what has been offered most recently, but it also makes it clear, for those of us who may have been a little nervous about the fact that the three eldest bishops were against the agreement, that in future, there will be another Chapter and a vote before anything is decided.

    Thank God for this beautifully crafted response. It was perfect.

  14. I believe that the statement represents a victory for +Fellay, and his revised policy of seeking a practical accord with the Vatican before the doctrinal differences (e.I. Rome’s conversion) are resolved; which was what the three other bishops desired.

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