Bishop Schneider: SSPX Personal Prelature Would Redress “Unjust” Suppression

Bishop Schneider: SSPX Personal Prelature Would Redress “Unjust” Suppression

Maike Hickson
December 12, 2016

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has given another interview of importance, this time to a French traditional Catholic journal, Présent. In this new interview, Bishop Schneider makes some politely discerning remarks about the currently considered, formal re-integration of the Society of St. Pius X, and then says that the recognition of the SSPX is an act of “rendering justice – belatedly – for the injustice done to the Society [of St. Pius X] in 1975 on the part of the Holy See.”

In the following, I present a translation from these especially important parts of that French interview – as it has been posted by the website Le Forum Catholique – along with the questions posed to Schneider, which are now placed in italics:

The Sovereign Pontiff has now extended the possibility [for the faithful] to confess [in sacramental penance] with priests of the Society of St. Pius X beyond the limits of the Year of Mercy. Does this seem to you to be an important decision?

Yes, of course, and I am very happy about it! This is a very pastoral gesture, very merciful, and in my eyes one of the most important gestures of the pontificate of Pope Francis which helps the process of canonical re-integration of this ecclesiastical reality which has existed for 50 years and which is producing obvious spiritual fruits. Many young families assembled around the Society of St. Pius X love the Church, pray for the pope, as their forebearers have done before them. The Church contains different houses, different spiritualities. Only those ecclesiastics who are hostile toward the Society present it with exaggerated demands. John XXIII as well as Paul VI always insisted upon the pastoral character of the [Second Vatican] Council. If the Society has difficulties in accepting certain documents of Vatican II, one has to place that into the context of the pastoral objective of the Council. The Dogma has not changed. We have the same Faith. Thus, there is no problem to integrate canonically the Society of St. Pius X.

You have been one of the Churchmen sent by the Vatican to visit the seminaries and priories of the Society. Which solution do you think is possible for resolving its controversial position?

The personal prelature is a position that is very fitting for the reality of the Society of St. Pius X and its mission. I am convinced that Monsignor Lefebvre would have accepted voluntarily and with gratitude this proposed official ecclesiastical structure, the recognition of this apostolate by the Church. This would only be an act of rendering justice – quite belatedly – to the unjust suppression of the Society in 1975 on the part of the Holy See. At that time, Monsignor Lefebvre had also presented a [canonical] recourse. The establishment now of a prelature would in some way accept this canonical recourse after a delay of some 40 years. On the other side, the Society must not demand guarantees of 100% which would be entirely unrealistic. We are still on earth, not in Heaven! It [such an inordinate demand] would be a gesture that would reveal a certain lack of confidence in Divine Providence.

h/t Rorate Caeli Twitter

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14 comments on “Bishop Schneider: SSPX Personal Prelature Would Redress “Unjust” Suppression

  1. If it was unjust in 1975, it is unjust now. A Personal Prelature guarantees nothing; it merely places a body of true Catholics under the jurisdiction of an anti-catholic impostor-occupant in the Chair of Peter. Remember, the Second Vatican Council decreed nothing that had not been infallibly proclaimed by previous Councils. These people calling for the SSPX to accept what is now being offered are barking up the wrong tree IMO.

    • Due to all lack of trustworthiness on the part of the Revolutionary Council progressives (as the late Canon Hesse, STD, STL put it, they “lie, cheat and swindle,” the SSPX simply MUST retain its vigilance and dedouble its demand that Rome FIRST return to the Faith. At which point, NO “deal” would be necessary, anyway.

  2. Phaley & gpm,
    Absolutely agreed, except I would not categorically characterize Pope Francis as an impostor, as this means he is not pope, and we laymen lack the authority to declare such, unless as a personal opinion.
    Bishop Schneider is, I think, the real deal, and has the best intentions, the best proof of which is that he’s bucking the modernist tide, which requires courage and sacrifice.
    However, though it’s perfectly correct that one must trust in divine providence, part of divine providence is the intellect and common sense He provides to man, which He demands that we use. As Christ said, “Be simple as doves — and wise as serpents”, as applied here, this would seem to mean: Do not be evil yourselves, but be as canny and suspicious as the serpents (evil men) you see around you ; that is, do not *rashly* judge that they have evil intentions in a given instance, but neither be so foolish as to presume they have good intentions, when historically they have proven themselves to be *habitually* unreliable. They cannot be trusted until they earn one’s trust.
    Therefore, to demand that Rome convert before a deal is made IS to conform to divine providence here.
    Finally, such a demand is NOT therefore a demand for 100% guarantees, but rather for the minimum prudent assurance.

  3. Phaley & gpmtrad,
    I absolutely agree with what both of you wrote; Francis is demonstrating his pertinacity in attempting to destroy Holy Matrimony in spite of the clear teaching of the Church; the public protests of Catholic laymen, priests, bishops and even Cardinals; and finally he refuses to respond to the dubia sent by the 4 Cardinals. He must be avoided at all cost.

  4. This comment by Bp. Schneider concerns me:
    “On the other side, the Society must not demand guarantees of 100% which would be entirely unrealistic. We are still on earth, not in Heaven! It [such an inordinate demand] would be a gesture that would reveal a certain lack of confidence in Divine Providence.”
    Where does Bp. Schneider draw the line between ordinate and inordinate?

  5. Dear niceisnasty and Mike (and it is SO good to hear from you, Mike):

    I fully accept Francis as the pope and pray for his “Catholic intentions” in every Rosary. I frequently go airborne on other trad fora when some say otherwise.

    The reason? He was elected, he accepted and the Church universal receives him as pope. That’s all it takes under Church law.

    It is absolutely correct that the entire matter is above our pay grade and will need to be settled with a show down, Gary Cooper style, one of these days.

    • PS: I don’t back off my comments re the SSPX and any “deal” with sunny Nuovo Roma. It is a prudential question, raised long ago by Abp Lefebvre, under the motto “Operation Suicide.”

      Benedict XVI and Francis have both given clear indications of their acceptance of the SSPX as truly Catholic. The question remains under the aegis of “canonical irregularities.”

      Given Francis’ track record with the FFI – he destroyed it – and his almost-unknown VDQ Apostolic Constitution intent on the absolute devastation of monastic life, I refer all to the Abp’s stand of long ago and the excellent analysis provided by one of the luminaries of traditional literature, Hilary White on 7/23/16 in The Remnant.

      (See “Springtime’s Over, Ladies: Francis’ Plans for the “New Conservative” Religious Orders”)

      Prudence requires right judgment, even in practical affairs involving leftist politics of the sort widely known to come straight from the Motel 6 in sunny Nuovo Roma.

      A reasonable man would not disagree with the proposition that a PP would serve Jorge’s purposed very nicely, thank you.

  6. I still believe benefit will come to the Church by having the SSPX fully within the Church.
    The reason being twofold.
    Firstly it will completely remove the argument used by modernists that the SSPX is schismatic and can therefore be totally ignored.
    Secondly it will mean they can act from within to bring about the revolution of Faith so desperately needed.
    Under a personal prelature they would be safe from sabotage by local diocesan bishops. They would be free to worship and teach the Faith as they believe to be right.
    I don’t think even the present Pope, with his constant sarcastic jibes at anyone orthodox, would risk being seen as a total hypocrite by making an agreement with the SSPX then breaking it.
    It is at this point I think trust in God steps in. Let’s get the SSPX back into the fold then let God use them as He will.

    • … and, if Rome does insist on updating them, they just don’t budge. If Rome then “excommunicates” them for not updating, all will see the dishonesty. The PP is a much bigger gamble for Rome.

    • With great respect allow me to say that the SSPX is totally within the Church and it is the Modernists that are the true schismatics. It takes more than “sitting in the Chair of Peter” to be a real Vicar of Christ.

      • There ya’ go, Colonel. That’s how I see it, as well.

        • Insofar as someday the Church will NECESSARILY correct the outrage Vatican II caused, it is worth considering the State of Emergency provisions of Canon Law under which Abp Lefebvre operated right up to the end of his blessed, heroic life.

          Those provisions were put there for sound reasons. The principal law, the highest aim, of the Church is the salvation of souls.

          And, certainly, whereas Benedict XVI and even Francis have said clearly that the SSPX IS Catholic, what more needs be said of the Society’s spiritual efficacy?

          While matters have only continued to deteriorate under the succession of conciliarist popes, and may worsen in days to come, such ruin has had as its primary characteristic a political and thoroughly Modernist agenda.

          It would be opposed to the virtue of prudence for the SSPX or for anyone at all to “take at their word” men whose mission, overturning the Church in the name of Modernist conceits – no matter what they “promise.”

          When Rome returns to the Faith, unadulterated, and condemns the errors, heresies and blasphemies of the infamous Second Council of the Vatican, then it will be time to “reconcile.”

          After all, the matter is political and fueled by condemned heresies. Once that evaporates, any “reconciliation” will simply be automatic.

  7. The other possibility would be something like the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (created for Anglicans converting to Catholicism in Anglicanorum coetibus ). An ordinariate for traditionalists could be open to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King as well. The difficulty at the moment is that such a structure would fall under the jurisdiction of the present pontiff and the Vatican bureaucracy currently in place which would pose certain theological problems for orthodox Catholic traditionalists. Who would really want Pope Francis deciding whether or not a particular traditionalist organization qualifies as being authentically Catholic? Would they have to sign a pledge on climate change? Or on Amoris Laetitia? Think about the poor Anglicans who converted under John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI when the Catholic teachings on marriage were still being upheld.

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