SSPX Close to Reconciliation with Rome – Wonderful, Yes, But Is This the Right Time?

SSPX Close to Reconciliation with Rome – Wonderful, Yes, But Is This the Right Time?

January 30, 2017
Posted by Tantumblogo

There have been growing pronouncements from both the Vatican and the SSPX leadership that the two camps – if that is the right term – appear close to a formal accord regularizing the SSPX’s canonical situation. Just today, the Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, said full communion is near:

We are working at this moment in the completion of some aspects of the canonical frame, which will be the Personal Prelature. Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission, charged with dialogue with the Society of Saint Pius X, confirms [SSPX Superior-General Fellay’s words] to Vatican Insider that the stage of full communion with the Lefebvrians is near. The accomplishment of the agreement is now in plain sight, even if some time is still needed.

I am of two minds over this: I have prayed for this for years, and there would be tremendous potential for great benefit to the Church by this successful regularization. However, I am exceedingly troubled that it is occurring during this most perilous of pontificates. Outbreaks of persecution against Tradition seem to be growing around the Church. More and more regions are implementing Amoris Laetitia, and thus radically changing both public belief and practice, along the lines of Francis’ own interpretation of that document. This means a crisis over doctrine appears to be inevitable. While it would be wonderful to have the SSPX back in full, regular canonical status and thus adding a great voice to the defense of the Faith (not that they are not already doing this), I have great trepidation for the future.

I am curious what people affiliated with the Society think about this. I am an outsider looking in, but I do have a great deal of interest in this matter, as I am convinced that there will be strong impact on the Ecclesia Dei groups no matter how SSPX “reconciliation” turns out. Is there an element of regularization at any price in this? Is this the pontificate under which it would really be optimal, even sensical, for regularization to take place? What happened in Campos? Was the SSPX-SO critique basically accurate, then?

What will the impact be to the Ecclesia Dei communities? Once the SSPX is regularized, a major reason for their existence would seem to have been removed. If Summorum Pontificum is truly under threat, as many feel, is it beyond reason to envision a perfect storm settling not only on the availability of the TLM but on the entire traditional movement? After the rape of the Knights of Malta and the crushing of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, is the risk in moving at this time warranted?

The question is not whether this is desirable. Of course it is. The question is whether this is wise now, with this pontificate, with this most underhanded and authoritarian of men wielding ultimate power in the Church? Bishop Fellay and some of his close associates maintain that if there is any kind of double-cross, the SSPX can simply return to their current status. Perhaps. But that entire structure required a very unique personality (Archbishop Lefebvre) and a very particular series of events to evolve to the current status quo. I am not entirely certain the personalities and the potentialities would be prevalent for a repeat. In fact I tend to think they simply will not –after all, +Lefebvre did not set out to wind up in a canonically irregular status when he founded his seminary for training priests back around 1970. He wanted to remain within the structure of the Church, but was forced by conscience, circumstance, and frequent bungling, even ill-will, on the part of Church authorities to arrive at the destination arrived in 1988. That is, my read on this whole history was, none of it was premeditated, the arrival at a canonically irregular position was achieved by circumstance. But to leave after regularization would mean to premeditatedly return to irregularity (or whatever one wants to call it).

Plus, moral surrenders – if this be one, and I’m not certain that it would be, but it has potential to be one – are (humanly) impossible to recover from.

I am more or less convinced that should this regularization take place, there will be no going back, for good or for ill. I also badly fear the example of the sons of Bishop Castro-Mayer in the Diocese of Campos, Brazil. Many feel a near total capitulation to the post-conciliar ethos has transpired in that odd subset of a diocese.

ADDENDUM (by AQ moderator Tom): His Excellency the Most Rev. Fernando Arêas Rifan, Apostolic Administrator of the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney of Campos, Brazil, with FrankenPope:

Concelebrating the Novus Ordo Mass

Schmoozing at a general audience in St. Peter’s Square

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18 comments on “SSPX Close to Reconciliation with Rome – Wonderful, Yes, But Is This the Right Time?

  1. I have said it before and I will repeat it. I know some Traditionalists are doubtful about the SSPX being reconciled with a Vatican regime that has, to put it mildly, some serious flaws; however, I truly believe the whole Church can only benefit by the SSPX’s full return .
    Once fully a part of the Church I think the SSPX can do much good and no one will be able to dismiss them as being in schism or being outside the Church. Their voice will have to be heard.
    Perhaps, even more importantly, any Catholic will feel free to attend their masses and other sacraments without being told they are irregular or schismatic.
    In other words I am saying they will now be able to do more good from the inside than from the outside. After all, this is the principle the Devil himself uses in a negative way – he knows that he can destroy the Faith more effectively from within than from without. Hence he loves the numerous gutless, heterodox priests and bishops who white ant the Church from within.
    The principle can be applied in a positive way when groups like the SSPX are fully part of the Church – they can strengthen and transform the Faith from within.

  2. I will make several observations here, that might be of help to some.

    Is it the right time? – The simple answer to this is that this question especially in a matter like this is as the Archbishop often pointed out, a matter of following God’s providence and working with it as best we can, observing basic prudence.

    As to wether an actual recognition of the SSPX will take place under this pope, regardless of what is stated either by Bp. Fellay or by Archbishop Pozzo, the whole matter will finally be subjected to the decision of the Pope, who himself is not really favourable to the ancient faith.

    On a personal level, I often find it hypocritical of those outside the SSPX claiming to be ‘hesitant’ at it being recognised, when they already themselves often support the conciliar orientation by supporting various groups that like (i.e. Fraternity of St. Peter, Institute of Christ the King etc who have more or less show themselves already to be traitors by embracing at least in theory, the conciliar errors).

    The statement that: “Is there an element of regularization at any price in this?” – This point is nonsense in the case of the SSPX, which has always made it clear, as Bishop Fellay put it recently “We stay as we are”. The SSPX has made it clear, unlike Campos and Co, that they refuse to accept the Conciliar errors, as found in the New Code, the Council, and as expressed in the Conciliar Liturgy. –

    The other groups refused to maintain those points as an absolute condition of legal recognition. When any of them have done this, then one can begin making comparisons, until then, there is no comparison.

    As to “What will the impact be to the Ecclesia Dei communities?” – In my personal opinion, this will only be determined in course of many years. It would be interesting as regards the parishioners of those parishes, but I think, like most things, you will see a status quo situation for a long time to come. Things will remain as they are. Most of those people in those Traditional Latin Mass communities have often grown up in them and have often had either no real knowledge of or any real contact with the SSPX, and so they will not see any need to switch, as many people often don’t grasp the principles at stake. That is why they are often just ‘happy with the Latin Mass.’

    I will add that while the setup being proposed for the SSPX is referred to as a ‘prelature’ as such it is not a prelature, it is something equivalent in the Church to the situation of the Easter Rite Catholics who while operating in a diocese are independent from the local Bishop, they answer only to their superior (usually a bishop) who in turn answer to the Patriarch. That will be setup structure envisioned for the SSPX. This gives them, their faithful, and those who may choose to call on them, protection from the local ordinary.

    I think beyond this what seems to be forgot is the something that should be most obvious to all readers on this matter; and yet is often overlooked, namely that the SSPX is made of well trained priests who have held out against the apostasy and who have trained to see the apostasy for what it is, they have continued that fight at a great personal cost to themselves, they are not about to just keel over and die for the sake of some ‘juridical recognition’. While that has been the case of many traitors (FSSP, Campos etc), that has never been the attitude of the SSPX or it’s priests as a whole. Both Bp. Fellay and Rome are well aware of this reality. And so, if any recognition is granted it will only be accept on the clear terms set down by the SSPX, because those terms (conditions) have enshrined in them essential aspects of the faith and elements necessary for preserving of that faith. Beyond this, like in all actions of human life, prudence and confidence in the providence God should always be our guide.

    Tom – Thanks for the pics, but lets be clear here, the SSPX has openly stated to the Roman authorities, not only that it rejects the new Mass but that no priest will ever be allowed to celebrate it, in any of it’s houses! As for ‘ Schmoozing’ – one can recognize the office and great authority given to the Man holding that office, without necessary agreeing with him. Our Blessed Lord, while never allowing people to detract from the respect due to those in authority, at the same time did not fear to denounce those same men. Such should be our attitude.

  3. Full disclosure:
    I am ANTI-Sedevacantist. I have been connected in one way or the other with the SSPX since 1972. I currently work with the SSPX, and have even been a member of the SSPX (that means seminarian, religious and/or priest) for a number of years. I have seen the SSPX in its best moments, but I have also seen quite a few ugly things.
    I will state categorically:
    To say that the SSPX has already betrayed the Faith, or assume as a certainty that it is going to do so, is groundless in the first case, and rash judgment on the other. Hence the Resistance position is foolish and uncharitable.
    To say that the SSPX, or worse, that Bp. Fellay and/or any other individuals within it, is or are absolutely trustworthy, and therefore we must all just wave our pom poms for them and forge ahead blindly, is also foolish and uncharitable. It is foolish because it totally ignores fallen human nature. Yes, the Queen of Heaven is watching over the SSPX. That is absolutely USELESS if the SSPX doesn’t follow her inspirations, and watch over itself. The same blind trust in persons is what got us into the post-Vat II mess in the first place. Remember the un-Saint JP II’s motto? Totus Tuus. I’m “all yours”, he told Our Queen. He may even have been sincere in his pious sentiment. His stupid sentiments were worse than worthless. The logic of idolatry of persons will necessarily lead eventually to the heresy of papalatry. After all, if one is going to blindly follow a person, one should choose someone who is infallible, right? This blind trust is uncharitable also, because it worships man in place of God; obeys man instead of God.
    That’s not what Archbishop Lefebvre did. The Great Objectivist knew better. And that is why he put absolute trust in no man, not even himself, and not in pious sentiments or presumptions either. That is why too, after 1988, he saw clearly that no deal could be made with Rome until Rome came back to the Faith. (No, that doesn’t mean everything about Rome must be perfect in our eyes beforehand; it means just what it says: Those in authority and those subject to an authority *must* agree, not indeed on everything, but *at least in the fundamental principles by which we order our lives*.) Anything else is a *guarantee* of conflict on those principles, and hence of a constant pressure on us to compromise those fundamental principles. This would be a near occasion of mortal sin against the Faith, people.
    It amazes me how few people seem to get that.
    Now consider this:
    Francis has personally performed a coup d’etat on the Knights of Malta. How did he do it? Why, it was as simple as pie. You see, Fra Festing is a reasonably good Catholic. Moreover, he’s tainted to some degree with Universal Papal Infallibilism, as almost all good Catholics are today. So, Francis simply orders him to resign, and the poor sap obeys. Poor Fra Festing remembered to be simple and humble as a dove, as Christ taught us — but he forgot that bit about being also wise as a serpent. Francis is all about the wisdom of the serpent; he doesn’t let any of that Holy Dove get in his way.
    Now, speaking of all those “guarantees” about “remaining as we are”…
    It doesn’t MATTER if the bishops of the entire world have no control or influence. The pope himself always does. THE WHOLE REASON WE ARE SEEKING A DEAL IS BECAUSE WE FEEL A NEED TO PROVE THAT WE ARE LOYAL TO THE PAPACY (…when we don’t need to prove anything. It’s Francis who needs to.)
    Now I’m not going to go rambling on, and paint a possible scenario of the SSPX’s impending doom if the deal is made. If anybody reading this can’t do that himself, he is impervious to street smarts (i.e. impervious to the wisdom of the serpent).
    At the present time, nice is nasty, because doves are doomed.
    I’m not saying that this doom is guaranteed. I am saying that normal supernatural prudence foresees that doom — and can NOT foresee anything else, because we cannot demand any miracles, or depend on fortuitous flukes.

  4. In a bizarre way, it makes sense with this pontificate, sort of like it took Nixon to go to China, if you’ll accept a far-less-than perfect analogy.

    Pope Francis is so free-wheeling and seeking to please so many, why not please SSPX folks as well?

  5. @fidei

    “…Once fully a part of the Church I think the SSPX can do much good and no one will be able to dismiss them as being in schism or being outside the Church. Their voice will have to be heard.

    Perhaps, even more importantly, any Catholic will feel free to attend their masses and other sacraments without being told they are irregular or schismatic.”

    This is part of the problem. Believe it or not, the SSPX is fully a part of the Church. Our thinking in this regard has been skewed precisely because the sheep have been erroneously told that fidelity to Church teaching and the novelty of “full communion vs partial communion” is somehow an accurate measure. Like being partly pregnant.

    So, while some may predicate their attendance at the SSPX chapels as dependent upon feelings or what others may call them, the reality is that even with that full communion stamp, the faithful WILL be subject to being branded as antiquarian, medieval, rigid, heretical in their need for clarity, etc.

    Look at what has happened to those traditional groups already carrying the vaunted stamp of Full Communion. They have been crushed, demonized, marginalized, etc, etc.

    So, I ask you, in all sincerity, while you’re seemingly looking to the SSPX (who you already fear is outside of the Church) how can you feign that the Society is a the would-be savior of the Church (Completely incongruous if you really think that the SSPX isn’t part of the Church. A reality, in practice, that would imply that the Society at present holds some position that is opposite the mission of the Church or some other dangerous element).

    It seems to me that what is primary in your argument is appearances and what people think is being outside the Church, not what really IS outside the Church. So, what is that except looking to externals, appearances, etc, and not the fullness of the Truth?

    While I personally might feel cozier having the full communion stamp, the reality is that that seal is only for the purpose of appearance. Much like having to strip off Christ’s clothes to garb Him in fake regalia in order that we adore Him.

  6. NN – Indeed you make some valid points. No one denies that if we don’t concede blind obedience to the sovereign Pontiff much less do we give it to any human being, or human organisation. –

    This whole issue, however, is not a question of faith, it is a question of prudence. – In this regards, it doesn’t take much to recall how so many thought that the SSPX would come to an end if the Archbishop would consecrate bishops without papal mandate and yet, on the contrary, since the Archbishop simply following both prudence and providence and went forward, despite the betrayal from many from within (who would leave to set up the fraternity of St. Peter, and other such indult communities); the SSPX continued only to grow world wide. For as Gamaliel well put it “If it be of God, you cannot overthrow it.’ – Act 5.

    Despite the fact that the SSPX was founded under the reign of Pope Paul VI, who was a clear modernist, God would see to it that it was approved in its foundation. He would continue to guide it.

    The SSPX is a work of God, the same God who raised up the Archbishop to lead it so likewise continues to direct it for his end, and yes, despite the fact that it is governed by fallible human beings. The SSPX was not founded for it’s own sake but for the sake of the Church.

    “As for us, they say that we have distanced ourselves from the See of Peter and from the Church. Yet is we who are the best defenders of both, we who are the most ready to defend the Holy See and the bishops in so far as they the successors of the apostles and the representatives of the church; but not the liberalism they profess.” – Arcbhishop Lefebvre (Against the Heresies Pg. 120)

    • Very useful observations. Thanks.
      It certainly is a matter of prudence. However, prudence is the virtue by which we choose the best means to attain our end, and our end is ultimately our salvation, and our salvation is impossible without keeping the Faith — for it is the Faith itself which teaches us what our salvation is, and the bare minimums of what we must believe and do in order to attain it. Precisely the prudential question here is “How do we, firstly, preserve in ourselves the Faith, and secondly, how do we communicate it to others?”
      Even though God raised up the SSPX to do precisely this, He did not give it a guarantee of indefectibility. Only the Church has that charism — and even that charism, as trainloads of recent historical evidence proves, only guarantees that at least a small part of the Church will remain faithful till the end of time.
      The job of prudence for us is to make sure that we will remain in that part.
      We CAN fall away. “Be not high-minded, but fear.”
      “As for us, they say that we have distanced ourselves from the See of Peter and from the Church. Yet is we who are the best defenders of both, we who are the most ready to defend the Holy See and the bishops in so far as they the successors of the apostles and the representatives of the church; but not the liberalism they profess.”
      This quote pretty much sums up what we have to do, doesn’t it?
      IMHO, here’s the main thing that prudence has to consider at present:
      1) This pope has done nearly everything possible to destroy the Faith.
      2) Most recently, he has personally commandeered the Knights of Malta.
      3) If the SSPX makes a deal, *what is to stop him from doing the same thing*?
      Oh yes, theoretically, the SSPX can say “No, we don’t accept that, because we requested that you leave us as we are, and you agreed to that.”
      Is anyone stupid enough to think that this pope will scruple at any agreements? He’ll just employ another of his famous sophisms — well, actually lies — as he did with the KOM. Festing was told “For the good of the Order, so as to strengthen your sovereignty…Resign, and accept the delegate that I will put in your place.”
      So “strengthening sovereignty” = total removal of sovereignty. Right.
      With a deal, there will be HUGE moral pressure to knuckle under, because, again, *the whole reason for making a deal is to try to prove to everyone that we really are obedient to the pope*.
      When it is in reality up to this pope to prove that he is obedient to his predecessors.
      Speaking of which… what about those Dubia, any answers yet?

  7. Back in 1987, during the Visitation of the Society and of traditional institutions by Cardinal Gagnon, Archbishop Lefebvre wrote a letter to him, to explain in what spirit he conceives of a normalization of the Society’s relationship with Rome. The Letter shows forth both the wisdom and prudence of the Archbishop, along with his realistic assessment of both the work of the Society and the means by which it could be once more granted a normalization despite the universal apostasy taking place within the Church. Regardless of what position one takes on this whole issue; it is worth reading the timeless principles that Archbishop lays down:

    Nov. 21, 1987
    Feast of the Presentation of the Most Holy Virgin Mary

    Your Eminence,

    You have been able to see and listen to the members of the Society, examine their formation, be present with them in their ministry, and listen to the faithful who rely on them for their sanctification.
    You have conversed likewise with religious and with nuns who find in the Society either their origin, or their spiritual assistance, or the graces of their ordination and religious expression.
    No doubt you may have noticed here and there some exaggeration, a little bitterness. But I cannot doubt that you have found a climate of Faith, of devotion, of zeal for truth and sanctity, which you once knew. This climate of Catholic Tradition is producing extraordinary fruits whose value you must recognize.
    Thus we are forming a great family, living in this Catholic ambience and atmosphere, attached to the Roman Church, attached to Peter and his successors, but absolutely and radically allergic to the conciliar spirit of religious liberty, ecumenism, collegiality, and the spirit of Assisi—the fruits of Modernism and Liberalism condemned so many times by the Holy See.
    The consequences of this spirit are disastrous, and we flee from them as from a disease pestilential to our minds and hearts; we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves from it, and protect also the young people of our Catholic households.
    Compare us to Israel in the midst of the perverse nations, to the Maccabees, and again to all these holy reformers of the clergy: St. Charles Borromeo, St. Vincent de Paul, St. John Eudes, Monsieur Olier.
    Here is the reality: we are forming an army intent on remaining Catholic no matter what the price, as we witness the de Christianisation taking place both outside and inside the Church.
    We willingly agree to being recognized by the Pope such as we are, and to having a seat in the Eternal City, to adding our collaboration in the renewal of the Church; we have never desired to break with the Successor of Peter, nor to consider the Holy See as vacant, in spite of the trials this has caused for us.
    We submit to you a project of reintegration and normalization of our relations with Rome. Considering what you now know of us and our works, you will not be surprised at our demands, which are founded solely on zeal for the good of the Church, and the salvation of souls, for the glory of God. Only in this spirit and taking into account these considerations can a solution be valid and stable.
    If, in these conditions, a solution is impossible, then we will continue on our way as at present, “persevering in prayer and the preaching of the word,” as we wait for more favorable circumstances.
    No matter what happens, however, we will continue to have a profound gratitude for you, for your charity and kindness, your understanding and your patience. At this hour we pray Our Lady of Fatima to repay you in blessings for what you have done for us.
    Deign to accept, Eminence, my respectful and fraternal salutations in Jesus and Mary.

    † Marcel Lefebvre
    Archbishop Bishop Emeritus of Tulle
    Founder of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X

  8. It seems to me that those who benefit from the existence of the SSPX; namely, all Traditionalists, should also be solicitous with them for regularization, as long as reasonable precautions are in place. Perhaps at the time of regularization, the SSPX might submit a slate of bishops to be consecrated (4 or so)…

    “If, in these conditions, a solution is impossible, then we will continue on our way as at present, ‘persevering in prayer and the preaching of the word,’ as we wait for more favorable circumstances.” -Archbishop Lefebvre

    It reminds me of this motto of IBM from days past:
    “The difficult, we do it immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.”

  9. Oremus – The fact that I referred to the indult groups as ‘Traitors” I would have thought should be obvious to readers of this site. But I stand corrected.

    Let me say that on the outset, I am not making here a personal judgment on any of those priests (religious), God alone is there judge. What I am talking about is the objective betrayal.

    The objective betrayal is that the indult groups are all founded upon two fundamental lies/errors that have been conditions for their acceptance – 1. Vatican II contains no errors. 2. The New Mass is an equal rite of Liturgy – on equal footing with the Novus Ordo Missa (hence the term “extra ordinary form’ is used in reference to the Tridentine rite).

    The reality is that it is precisely the errors of the council that have lead us into this apostasy, and that the Novus Ordo Missae is a non-Catholic rite of worship not acceptable to any Catholic by any means. It is in fact, by Catholic standards simply an abomination (let alone an ‘Ordinary form’).

    Such clergy/religious holding such positions have essentially already swallowed the poison, hence regardless of the fact that they offer the “Latin Mass” they have no real means of working for the restoration of the faith; for they have swallowed the poison which makes any such reformation impossible, until the poison is rejected.

    To give a comparison/example (albeit imperfect one). During the French revolution, when the revolutionary Assembly put together what was to be known as the Civil Constitution for the clergy, – priests and bishops were ask to sign onto and accept this new constitution. This Constitution went against principles and was set up to undermine faith. Those who took the oath became known as ‘jurors’, while those who refused were labelled ‘non-jurors’ or ‘refractory priests’.

    Catholics who had a sense of the faith, refused to attend the Mass of those clergy who had accepted the oath. They saw them as traitors who had embraced the principles of the revolution; even though they offered the Tridentine Liturgy. We can say this is the case of the various indult groups who have embraced the principles of the revolution regardless of the fact that they may ‘offer the Latin Mass.” Objectively speaking, so many seem to easily forget that the Church was not founded upon the “Latin Mass.” but upon the faith. Objectively speaking, the Mass without its foundation upon the ancient faith can not save or sanctify (as we see in the case of the Schismatic Orthodox sect).

  10. VJ, thank you for the input, please excuse my lack of customary background here. Yes, I certainly agree with you, the faith comes first, the mass grows from it.

  11. Traitors. Oh great. Now the very folks whom we’d all like to embrace the SSPX have to swallow this. Bottom line is, no Catholic will ever have to agree with the SSPX on anything they’ve done over the past 30-some years. But we’d rather like traditional-minded folks to come on over, right? We’re not the Cathari who will be stained by their uncleanness, but they might get the wrong impression. Likewise, the Church is never going to call the FSSP and ICRSP traitors.

    As for the ICRSP, I heard one of their priests teach that the Church must return to the true teaching of marriage before we can convert society, specifically, NFP is wrong. That’s no traitor. Each priest finds the place according to his conscience where he can do the most good for souls. As for the FSSP, I know there’s a lot of water under the bridge, with former SSPX joining the FSSP. Folks will have to get past that.

    One thing I’ve appreciated from the SSPX bishops in the recent decade and longer, is lowering the rhetoric, e.g., not saying “Modernist Rome” so much.

    The *bleeps* enjoy banter like this. Recall the days when Cekada et al accused the Archbishop of compromising with Rome, and breaking off to form their own resistance. Even Williamson finally succumbed to this virus. Point is, anyone can pull out accusations and cause all kinds of trouble. As we do get closer to the “indult” trads, the open-minded ones will come to see the true gravity of the situation emanating from the Council and before. That’s what we want.

  12. Cyprian

    Firstly, I think you need to re-read what I wrote. My statement was that I am not making a subjective judgment on the personal understand of each individual religious in the indult crowd, that is for God alone to do. I am simply making an objective statement on the reality as it stands.

    As St. Augustine put it ‘Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it.’

    The FSSP and co are not traitors because they refuse to give good sermons, because they may have various modifications in their rubrics etc, in many ways some of their clergy give far greater sermons and often are more zealous etc, but that is not the point. The very premise upon which they base the whole foundation of their work is false. Hence it is not able to effect a reform without those false principles being rejected. The position is a betrayal to the truth.

    The SSPX is not asking for anyone to ’embrace it. The SSPX has however always stated clearly both in its discussions with Rome and in its various publications the errors in the Council and the various conciliar reforms (such as those found in the New Code, the New Catechism, The Mass).

    Even if the other conservative Catholic groups start to come over towards the SSPX, it will not profit them unless they are willing to embrace the truth and not just a cafeteria styled Catholicism.

    For my part I have often found that the conservatives have often been some of the worst enemies of the Church, for they are often unwilling to put into place the reforms need to repair the problem, they often only want to simply slow down the revolution.

    The Church today considers modernists as hero’s of the Church and so, no, I don’t expect the Church of today to call the FSSP and co traitors for some time to come. But it will one day, just as it did call the juror priests of the French revolution, who embraced a text which contained far less errors than those of the Second Vatican Council.

    History doesn’t change truth or principles. Tradition Catholics have to understand why the SSPX has taken its position and why it continues to insist on it being recognized as is, for it is not merely about have some exclusive ‘Latin Mass club’ but about uphold the ancient faith in all of its doctrinal integrity. Without those truths at the foundation, the FSSP and co make of Latin Mass noting more than that ‘a Latin Mass club’ for the nostalgic.

    The rift that exists between the SSPX and the indult groups in principle will not change, even if the SSPX is ‘approved’. The position of the various indult groups has always been a case of ‘recognition at all cost’. This has never been the case for the SSPX it has always been a question of the faith and Catholic principles first, for any recognition at the expense of betraying that reality isn’t worth the paper it would be written up.

    As to what you state about Cekada and Bp. Williamson, they have simply made the same error as the indult groups but from the opposite spectrum (the two extremes always meet); they seem to think that a Pope who errs either is no longer Pope (Cekada) or one who is no longer worthy of our obedience (Bp. Williamson and the ‘resistance’ crowd). They in true protestant form reject the Roman Pontiff only to make themselves Pontiff, whose personal opinions seem to take on an air of infallibility. They have both lost sight of the principles and replaced with their own (Protestant ideas) and used the crisis in the Church to create their own sectarian following. –

    Either way two wrongs don’t make a right !

    • Double down. It’s that old Cathari mindset that used to keep me at arm’s length from SSPX folks. It’s fading, Deo gratias, but feel free to keep beating the pavement with your traitor invective and all that. God bless.

  13. NN

    Prudence indeed teaches us how to direct the means to the end – but in this situation it is not for us to make that particular call. Superiors are entitled to the benefit of the doubt. And God is entitled of us to trust Him. If he has lead the SSPX and its priests thus far, it is not so he can abandon them.

    Keep in mind that the Archbishop was far more aware of these realities than you and I will ever be and yet, he did not hesitate to strive to work with the conciliar authorities for as long as he could. Even after receiving the various unjust penalties he continue to strive for his work to be recognised. The fact that wasn’t doesn’t make it a good thing. It simply just meant that for the Archbishop this did not justify him abandoning his work for the salvation of souls.

    A fundamental error being made here, it seems to me, by those who want the SSPX to have nothing with the conciliar authorities, is to presume that being subject to a modernist authority either makes you a modernist or means that you have some how alter your faith. If this was true then what about all those years that the Archbishop worked within the conciliar frame work? Did he become a modernist? Was his faith altered? – No.

    No one is maintaining that this Pope is good. He is a modernist, and yet so was Paul VI. He even gave us the abomination of the New Mass.

    What is more is that regardless of wether the SSPX is approved or not approved, as far as indefectibility is concerned nothing changes, the SSPX can defect even if it is not approved by Rome! – Its non approval doesn’t all of a sudden give it any more the gift of indefectibility.

    What is more is that the fact that a superior can use his authority to cause you physical or moral harm, does prove that you don’t have a duty to be subject to him in all things that are lawful. The abuse doesn’t take away the use.

    As for a ‘deal’ well, I hate to disappoint you but there is no deal. The faith is not up for negotiations. It is simply a matter of justice, to rectify the unjust suppression of a congregation that has done nothing else than to continue to uphold the faith. To affirm that his suppression is somehow justified is absurd to say the least.

    • Hello,
      There is no need to read more into what I said than what I said. Now, *that* said, it’s also OK by me if you do :o)
      Of course the decision in question is not our call.
      If the SSPX does make a deal, I am actually fine with that. Even if it ends up being a disaster, that is all part of God’s eternal plan, the whole of which always remains perfect. That’s all that *really* matters, right?
      On the other hand, to a great many individuals in that whole plan, a disaster is still a disaster. If any of us have ideas on how to avoid that, we should voice them, in case it is God’s will that someone who actually does have influence on the decision is listening.
      I have never said that the SSPX should not negotiate or work with Rome. I am not Bishop Williamson incognito!
      I agree 100% that the SSPX can fall without Roman approval. The question here is whether that fall is more likely with or without it.
      When we speak of a deal, I think most of us — and certainly yours truly — are not speaking about a direct compromise of the Faith. The Deal itself doesn’t involve that. I myself am speaking of putting oneself into a near occasion of sinning against the Faith, which a deal *at this particular time* would indirectly involve. That’s why I am presently a NoDealer instead of a GoDealer.
      Thanks for the thoughts.

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