Calgary bishop tells Catholics not to attend Society of St. Pius X parish

Source: The B.C. Catholic

Calgary bishop warns against rogue parish

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 13:37

Bishop Henry tells Catholics not to attend Society of St. Pius X parish

By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News

Caption: Father Kevin Robinson of the Society of St. Pius X processes from the sacristy at the beginning of a traditional Latin Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Chapel in Farmingville, N.Y. (CNS / Gregory A. Shemitz)

Calgary Bishop Fred Henry has warned Catholics in his diocese not to attend a church purchased by the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).


In the diocesan newsletter The Carillon, Henry pointed out SSPX had bought the building formerly occupied by St. Michael’s Catholic Church, which has relocated.

The confusion lies in the name of the new SSPX parish: St. Dennis Catholic Church. Henry stressed, “St. Dennis is not a Catholic church and the fact that they are identifying themselves as a Catholic Church is problematic and confusing for many people.”

The bishop lays out the history of SSPX and its founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. “He did not reject Vatican II, or even the reform of the Mass (he voted for the Council document that called for it) but he did reject the current rites, promulgated in 1969, though he did not argue they were invalid,” Henry writes.

Since the founding of the society, there have been illicit ordinations of priests and bishops, resulting in excommunications. Though the excommunications of the four bishops who succeeded Lefebvre have since been lifted, did not change the juridical status of SSPX, “which presently does not enjoy any canonical recognition by the Catholic Church, Henry said.

Henry noted that there were a number of seminarians and priests at the Swiss seminary Lefebvre founded in Encône, Switzerland who did not wish to go into schism with the Holy See sought another solution. Their efforts led to the erection of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) which have had the celebration of the Tridentine rite as part of their charism.

The bishop noted their “loyalty and faithfulness,” as well as devotion to the Traditional Latin Mass. “On the other hand, the SSPX has gotten more strident over time, harboring sedevacantists and others with positions more extreme than Archbishop Lefebvre would have tolerated.”

“St Dennis Church does not have canonical status within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary,” Bishop Henry said, noting Catholics should not attend this parish or receive sacraments from any SSPX priest “unless in dire emergency or danger of death.”

For those in Calgary who wish to attend a Tridentine Mass, Bishop Henry directs them to St. Anthony’s parish, run by the FSSP.

The National Post ran a Dec. 13 story on the issue, treating it as a dispute among Catholic factions.

Reporter Jen Gerson quoted Father Jurgen Wegner, SSPX’s Canadian district superior, as being “surprised” by the bishop’s letter. He told the Post there are about 600 SSPX members in Calgary and they needed a larger location to worship.

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17 comments on “Calgary bishop tells Catholics not to attend Society of St. Pius X parish

  1. Posted on our Calgary Church web-site:

  2. Isn’t this church where Fr. Boyle and Fr. DeLallo are? Before moving overseas, I attended Our Lady of Sorrows in Phoenix. The hall there is named for Fr. Boyle and Fr. DeLallo was there for a time, too.
    If you see Fr. DeLallo can you find out where we can get copies of his book Catholic Action for Christ Our King, please? Both it and Sword of Christendom were suppressed, I guess, is how I’d describe it.
    Tradition is more than the TLM. I understand that the FSSP isn’t allowed to criticize VII? Does anyone know the details on that? Part of being Catholic is pointing out and correcting error, so I think that’s a big part of this problem.
    Does he want the faithful to attend masses where there are heretics and cafeteria catholics aplenty because they are in “full communion” ? They’re actually not since they’ve separated themselves from the Church. Anyway, having grown up NO, there’s no way I’d go to one these days. If I’d died back then, I’d be in hell now, so I’m going where I’ve got the best shot to save my soul. Should we remind him that’s the primary rule of the Church which pretty well trumps all their social gospel rules and touchy feely sentimental feelings nonsense?
    The sedes I know of don’t attend the SSPX, so he’s making a somewhat inaccurate statement.

    • adoro te, I am a 6 hr. round trip from our Calgary Church so I don’t make it there often, especially in winter months.
      I believe Father DeLallo came to Calgary fairly recently, but I will ask him about the book when I make it into Calgary. The Calgary Church has a large book store, so just maybe they sell it.
      God bless you.

  3. FSSP in Calgary share a church with diocesan clergy and VG.

  4. What a charitable approach for the bishop to take against those who are only trying to save their souls! May Almighty God forgive him for his erroneous conclusions. Look, broad-brush statements about the motives of others are inappropriate regardless of which side is doing it.

  5. We on the side of Sacred Tradition and a True Restoration of Sancta Mater Ecclesia are no better or worse than Nervous Ordealers in the economy of salvation. We all sin and we’re very persistent in it. Grace, perserverance and penance are among our greatest supports.

    And we, as they, believe in the Credo, the Commandments, the papacy and the total hierarchical order of salvation.

    Thus, there are many, many pious, good souls in both camps. And real stinkers, too.

    I think the g

    • sorry, my PC is doing ALL kinds of strange things….. I’ll try to continue….

      I think the greatest difference between Trads and NOs is common sense. We have no more than they, naturally speaking, but we seem to tend to USE it more than they.

      It is much easier for NOs point to some liberal-tinged conciliar document and shout, “See? See? It sez so right HERE! It’s official. You guys ain’t Catholic!”

      To which we retort, “Yer mudder wears Army boots! Looky here, dingbat! This is what St. Pius V or St. Pius X or Pope Pius XII or [ fill in the blank ] said! See? See?”

      And ’round and ’round it goes. No different in appearance than libs vs. cons in the political arena.

      However, while true that there will be no end of this “pointless tit for tat” until some pope some day finally puts things right, I do think Trads realize just how terribly
      important sound catechesis is, alongside authentic spirituality as taught by the Perennial Magisterium, the doctors and fathers, etc. And, truth be told, that is not solely our provence. I have met many NOs who do study Santo Subito’s’ CCC and take the moral and spiritual life seriously.

      The problem they have, however, is – just like with their “version” of the Mass – what they are relying on is tainted with liberalism, nouvelle theologie and just plain sloppy thinking and expression. Not enough to invalidate it, per se, but enough to dampen their perception of the nature and purpose of the Trad struggle.

      For 50 years, mainstream Catholics have known nothing but the watered- down, heretically susceptible, weak gruel of Modernists.

      On our side, we may expect no improvement until, some day, some pope…..

  6. I hope I didn’t sound uncharitable or judgmental last night.
    I was commenting based on my personal experiences. Back in the mid-70’s, I made my First Communion at 8 1/2. According to my mom, a year later I asked her if we were Catholic. She proceeded to put us into the Catholic school where we had a teacher who asked me how to spell words such as “resurrection” while another got married and divorced in the space of maybe three years. We learned about the rosary, but didn’t say it. Many other feel good things too, but not really The Faith. My siblings have all abandoned the NO for whatever like so many others. Even in college, my Catholic friends and I weren’t really Catholic. The ecumenism stuff only made it worse because the emphasis was on “love”, so we joined in with everyone in pretty much everything.
    When my parents found Tradition in mid- 2004, they were so stunned, heartbroken, angry…guilty… me too when they told me what they’d found out. They’d been doing what they were told because you used to be able to trust the clergy. Since they were relatively newly married with a bunch of little ones running around when all this started to happen, they just trusted the priests. We didn’t have access to the internet, traditional publications, good books, even though there were traditional Catholics in our city. We had no idea it existed. Now, they pray that they, their children, and grandchildren will be judged on a curve with all the others who were conned and those who are still being conned. My bridesmaids still see nothing wrong with the NO even when I suggested titles such as Iota Unam and The Rhine Flows into the Tiber. It’s so frustrating because once I started reading, it all clicked into place and you want others to see to, but they don’t. One sibling died last month. She was a born again Christian and was saved because Jesus was her personal savior and she was justified by faith with grace (or however she used to put it). No authority or church would tell her what to do. If you spoke about Mary or the saints to her, she’d get so angry! I tried to ask her how she can love Jesus so much when she can’t stand His mother? How do you have the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, Pentecost, etc. without Mary? Masses were said for her and tons of prays, so hopefully she hopefully she at least made it to purgatory when she was judged.
    We have marches with one of the NO parishes here. The youngest of the marchers from their parish was mid fifties. All rest of their whole dozen or so were well over seventy. Yet, their parish is huge and well off while we have a few hundred and struggle to pay bills. The clergy are not dressed like clergy and hang out with people like they’re just other parishioners. It makes my skin crawl going into their church, so I just try and focus on Our Lord in the Tabernacle that’s off to the side in a corner. (At least one can find him.)
    Sorry to get off track here since you’re all already familiar with all I wrote from your own experiences. It’s just that there are so many souls to save (seven billion or so right now).
    Bishop Tissier de Mallerais has stated that it won’t be Benedict XVI that the Society reaches an agreement with. They’ll have to wait for another pope.
    I’ve had computer issues too and it’s been about half an hour since I started typing, so I’ll end now.

    If they could just explain why they consider traditional Catholics wrong other than their vague VII or spirit of VII line maybe we’d get somewhere with them.

    • Adoro te, my sincere condolences and assurances of prayer for your sister.

      Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine
      Et lux perpetua luceat ei
      Requiescat in pace
      Amen +

      ( 300 days indulgence when recited for the holy souls )

  7. This is completely off topic, but I wanted to let people know what happened with the Young family. The father Larry died Dec. 10, 2011 of a heart attack leaving behind his pregnant wife Katherine and their 11 children. Katherine gave birth in May to Helen Louise. Everything went well and Larry had monies put away in savings, investments, and such. They have been doing okay and thank everyone for all their prayers. (Larry and Katherine are Godparents to my youngest child.)

  8. at, you were not uncharitable. Period.

    That term has been so misused for so long it now means the reverse of what it meant to Catholics before the intellectualoid barbarians hijacked the Church 50 years ago.

    Above and before all else is the obligation in charity to supremely adore and obey God Himself, and the neighbor in the following sense:

    a. ( Epistle of St. James ): “…to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation; and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world.”

    b. Through one’s individual growth in authentic holiness – out of which may flow sound teaching by living a life of sound example.

    Further, malice is to be avoided in speech. But it is not malicious ( in fact it is very commendable and absolutely necessary, at times ) to point out and condemn error and sin.

    There was no malice in your comments. They contained no detraction, calumny or disparaging raillery ( unlike yours truly ).

    Vade in pace.

  9. PS: Yes, the FSSP is silenced, gagged, muted, tongue-tied, hushed, etc., etc. re. Vat II. So are the ICK, the Rafinists, etc., etc. I understand that there are nine different ex-Trad groups that “took a deal” with Rome and that was the principle constraint imposed upon each.

    No hand puppets, either!

    Sic semper omni illegitimati modernistii.

  10. Glad I wasn’t out of line. I get carried away sometimes.
    As a Legion of Mary Legionary and Third Order Dominican I’ve got even more of an obligation to put The Truth out there. What we’ve found in our work is that most people just don’t care. They aren’t interested in God or at least God’s view of the world.
    Funnily enough, our Dominican sisters here had to do on hands classroom work for their teaching credentials and they so impressed one man that he and his wife have been visiting the convent for going on two years now. They bring their little girl and have just had another little girl who’ll be coming when visitations start again (usually the second Sunday of the month for two hours). They’re Anglicans. And we have a couple of Muslim shop owners here who are impressed with our parish because of our upholding of marriage, family, and modesty. Pray we can convert these people.
    Charitable being misused reminded me of a current article from Bishop Sheen in The Remnant. He is speaking in 1931 I think it was about toleration and how it’s misused and that what we need is to be more intolerable.
    The sophists are still causing trouble.

  11. I wonder if +Henry will accept Fr. Wegner’s invitation to the blessing in a couple of weeks.

    His reaction does seem to give an inducation as to why he has the fssp in his diocese.

  12. Sometimes I think we are so naive regarding the NO hierarchy that we play into their hands so-to-speak. It is my opinion that the reason why the FSSP has been invited to set up shop in local dioceses is to counteract the effect the FSSPX and other independents are having or have had. Think about it, my friends, think about the fact that these NO hierarchs would love to get their hands on the property and finances that the FSSPX and Independents have in their llittle conclaves. In other words they will put up with traditionalists only so long as the can control them and if they can’t, they will simply criticize them as infinitum and say they are outside the church, not in full communion and lacking any canonical standing or position. They say it’s about doctrine but that’s not really true – it’s about pride and stubbornness, the pride and stubbornness of those who bought into the “spirit of Vatican II.”

    • ” FSSP has been invited to set up shop in local dioceses is to counteract the effect the FSSPX”

      I agree with this statement.

      The thought that they are longingly looking for the material properties of the SSPX, I think, is off base as they are selling their current buildings for lack of people and of course priests.

      Control – that point may be closer to the heart of the matter in a way of speaking. A number seem to want to eliminate or at least contain the Traditional Catholics.

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