[FYI:] SSPX Deathwish[?]

What is important is that there no longer be rejection in their hearts…gradually, we must expect further steps…like concelebration.” – Fr. Georges Cottier, after his triumph over Campos


On June 27, diocesan priest and retired US Navy chaplain, Fr. Kevin Cusick, announced the following on Twitter:

BREAKING: For the first time a SSPX priest joins annual @MilArchUSA discernment retreat for prospective active duty military chaplains.1

Yes, you got that right: An SSPX priest (with the apparent consent of his superiors!) is off to a 5-day retreat to consider a conciliar vocation in the US military chaplaincy.

Let that sink in a bit.

Doesn’t sound right?

There must be some mistake?

No, there is no mistake.

The Military Archdiocese of the United States has its own website, and on it you will find this announcement:

Priests attending the June 25-29 retreat are from the dioceses of Burlington, VT; Winona-Rochester, MN; and Marquette, MI; and the Legionnaires of Christ, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, the Society of St. Pius X, and the Congregation of the Missions.2

In case you wondered just what, precisely, might take place at such a retreat, the US Military Archdiocese was kind enough to give some interesting details:

Staying at the Theological College in Northeast Washington, the priests will gather daily for prayer and the Eucharist…The highlight of the gathering will come on Thursday in the Pentagon Memorial Chapel at the 9/11 crash site, where the priests will concelebrate Mass.3

Feeling a bit faint?

Still hanging onto the hope of some explanation which will make it all better?

You had better sit down.

Conversation with a Military Chaplain

Shocked and appalled at the flagrant liberalism, I too held within myself the hope of some kind of satisfying explanation:
Perhaps this priest imagines himself to be able to enter the Military Archdiocese and celebrate only the traditional Latin Mass, use exclusively the other traditional sacraments, and so on and so forth.

Yes, surely he had a conversation with Archbishop Broglio4, and they came to some kind of understanding!  But wait, that would make this SSPX priest just an indult priest…

Not wanting to speculate any further, I called an old local acquaintance who just happens to be a military chaplain for the last 20+ years (and is also a local indult priest with friends in the US District).

Surely he is the man to ask, and indeed he was.

So I called him.

But what he had to say was not encouraging:

All US Catholic military chaplains are subordinate to Archbishop Broglio, while still belonging to their home dioceses or religious orders [i.e., If this priest were to decide to actually join the Military Archdiocese, effectively, the SSPX would agree to “lend” him to the Military Archdiocese, but he will continue to be a member of the SSPX.  Don’t lose sight of this critical point!];

If one is deployed on active duty [as this priest seems to be interested in doing], Archbishop Broglio’s influence over that priest will be more direct; if in the National Guard or Reserves, his home diocese or religious order will have more sway over him;

In order for an SSPX priest to join the military chaplaincy, he would be required to produce a letter from his superiors permitting it.  [This implies that if the US District is permitting this priest to consider this conciliar vocation, they are not opposed in principle to his exercising a conciliar apostolate; quite the opposite, as their explicit permission is required];

Archbishop Broglio gives an annual military chaplain vocation retreat, and this seems to be the one this SSPX priest is currently attending;

According to my acquaintance, (who, again, has been a military chaplain for decades), it is inconceivable that a priest would be admitted into the military chaplaincy, and be permitted to serve less than 1% of those identifying themselves as traditional Catholics; his commanding officers would consider him a “useless priest,” as they would be required to furnish an additional priest to serve the other 99% (which isn’t going to happen).

He says there is no precedent for any such arrangement anywhere in the US military chaplaincy, and considers it impossible, not only because of the objections of the various commanding officers, but also because of what he knows of Archbishop Broglio, who despite some conservative characteristics, is certainly not traditional (and as is explained in endnote #4, recently stated that he would “rather have no priests at all, than have traditional priests.”  Obviously, such a one would never tolerate this fantasized arrangement.

Consequently, my acquaintance stated that, if the report is true that an SSPX priest will be joining the chaplaincy, with the permission of the SSPX, he will definitely be saying the Novus Ordo on a regular basis (with any TLMs being the private exception).


So let’s digest this all:

  1. At this moment, there is an SSPX priest participating in a conciliar retreat;
  2. In which he is attending a daily Novus Ordo Mass;
  3. Receiving Novus Ordo Communion;5
  4. And who will be concelebrating the Novus Ordo Mass;
  5. With the permission of his SSPX superiors;

That’s appalling to any traditionalist who has not been damaged by the last 7 years of SSPX branding.

But it is still not the worst.

Have you figured it out yet?

It is this:

If this priest should decide to actually join the military chaplaincy, in which by all accounts he will be forced to celebrate predominantly the Novus Ordo Mass, while still remaining a member of the SSPX (albeit “loaned” out to the Military Archdiocese), and with the permission of his superiors, it will represent a new deplorable precedent in the history of the SSPX ralliement:

The SSPX will now have its first officially permitted bi-ritual priest.

And even if something should intervene to forestall this eventuality (and heaven knows it certainly won’t be the complaints of the anesthetized and boiled frogs in the pews!), there is no way to rewind the precedent already set:

The SSPX now allows their priests to attend conciliar retreats; to concelebrate; to actively participate in the Novus Ordo Mass, to receive Novus Ordo Communion.

But nothing has changed!

We won’t compromise!

Rome must accept us as we are!

We have always been at war with Eastasia!6


There is still one escape hatch here for the SSPX: That this priest has determined to leave the SSPX, and consequently what is stated above all misses the target.

God, let it be so!

Please, let it be so!

But in that case, Fr. Cusick’s Tweet was extremely irresponsible, and the silence of the US District on this point would be so negligent in quashing what little scandal a branded faithful can muster, that it would certainly exonerate any “sour grapes” charges of “rash judgment.”

On the contrary!

In the old days, when high profile departures (voluntary or involuntary) from the SSPX hit the airwaves, the District sprung into action, and explained why the priest in questions’ reasonings were defective.

True, this priest is anonymous to most, but the Tweet made the case high profile, and if it were true that this priest was abandoning the SSPX for the conciliar Church (of which his own SSPX is now ¾ integrated into?), did not the District have a duty to publicize that fact?  Or is it that, after so much branding, the SSPX dare not publicly recount the reasons why such a course of action for this particular priest will be ruinous to his faith?

Come to think of it, does the SSPX even believe that anymore?



  • 1.twitter.com/MCITLFrAphorism/status/1012008843558178817
  • 2.archdioceseforthemilitaryservicesusa.createsend.com/campaigns/reports/viewCampaign.aspx?d=d&c=D7BF0B7039F8D419&ID=69A5447128F4E2712540EF23F30FEDED&temp=False&tx=0
  • 3.Ibid.
  • 4.Archbishop Broglio is the Archbishop in charge of all US Military Chaplains.  Incidentally, this is the same Archbishop Broglio who only a year ago stated that he would rather have no priests at all, then have a traditional priest!  See here: onepeterfive.com/military-archdiocese-better-no-priests-traditional-ones/  In other words, you can put to rest any wishful thinking about Archbishop Broglio carving out a traditional apostolate for this wayward SSPX priest.
  • 5.One person held out hope that perhaps this priest will say his own private Mass, and/or not receive Communion.  I think however the presumption is otherwise, as he will certainly be saying the NOM and receiving NOM Communion should he actually join the military chaplaincy, and in light of Archbishop Broglio’s animus towards Tradition, I would be very surprised if he should make any special accommodations for an SSPX priest.  Nevertheless, I admit it is possible, and if it should in fact turn out to be the case, it will result in the most enthusiastic retraction I have ever made!
  • 6.The reference is to the practice of “Crimethink” in Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”  In the book, an oppressive regime is actively rooting out all those who could pose a threat to the Party.  “Good” citizens, therefore, developed the skill of Crimethink,” which allows them to easily accept contradictions in party policy as a matter of “protective stupidity.”  As an example in the book, a party slogan in the public square flashes “We have always been at war with Eurasia.”  The crowd, momentarily confused about what the party wanted them to believe, takes up the chant, only to contradict themselves moments later when the Party reverted to the old slogan, and the citizens again with it: “We have always been at war with Eastasia!”  The same phenomena in on display in SSPX chapels the world over among those who accept all the blatant contradictions to former SSPX policy, maintaining nothing has changed: “We have always been at war with Eastasia!”
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13 comments on “[FYI:] SSPX Deathwish[?]

  1. Please give me a break. More nonsense. More Fake news, to make up some hype to attack the integrity of the SSPX.

    Notice that in the article no real facts are presented. Please tell us the name of this SSPX? – Please confirm that he has actually been given permission from the SSPX to attend such a retreat and that he will actually be obliged to follow every aspect of the retreat.

    Please confirm the fact that he will actually ‘concelebrating’ the Novus Ordo Mass! No SSPX would be allowed to remain in the SSPX if he were to offer the New Mass ! That is part and parcel of the promise they make as SSPX priests, to be faithful to the ancient faith and liturgy.

    Just more slander to attack the SSPX !

  2. Note that the Article is written by the notorious resistance support and ignoramus Sean Johnson, who looks for any opportunity to attack the SSPX.

  3. Vinent, while I hope your take on the matter is absolutely correct I happen to have a friend (20 year career Sgt. Major, with multiple combat deployments, in the US Army Chaplaincy Corps) who has repeatedly confirmed Abp. Broglio’s stance against the Latin Mass and the points made in the article regarding the regulations imposed on chaplains.
    I will get this information to him and let you know if there are any factual errors.

  4. Okay, I got the info to him. I will let you know if I learn more. Again, I hope you’re right. It seemed bizarre to me, as well.

  5. I agree that the article is very weak on substantiating sources.
    On the other hand, it would be a rash judgment to call the article slander, for the exact same reason: no substantiating sources.
    So the jury is out.
    However, in a number of other matters, the facts about a liberalizing trend in the SSPX are a part of settled history. A few at random:
    #1) The reversal by Bs. Fellay and his council of Arb. Lefebvre’s Basic Operating Principle concerning relations w/ Rome: No practical/”canoncical” agreement without first doctrinal agreement. A mere practical agreement without doctrinal agreement is THE modus operandi of the false ecumenism condemned by so many popes, but embraced by Liberals because it logically follows their conviction that what they want to be true IS true simply because they want it. Like God, they want to think they create their own reality by mere fiat.
    “What unites us is bigger than what divides us!”
    No, it’s not.
    “See, we want to sign a paper saying that we Trads are in union with Rome. We will then have a ‘canonical solution’; we will be ‘regularized’; we will then actually BE in union with Rome!”
    No. That’s what you *want*, but your petty little wants don’t make reality. You aren’t God.
    Because the SSPX — at least the Old School! — is right now in union with Eternal Rome (which is the only one that matters), and the New Rome is disunited with Eternal Rome. And because of that, the *reality* will be that the SSPX is and will remain *disunited* from New Rome, until either New Rome converts to Eternal Rome…or…the SSPX converts to New Rome.
    #2) Witness the Purgatio Major (Greater Purge), in the summer of 2012 and after, directed against all the Old School SSPX priests who dared to criticize Fellay for his scandalous Liberal comments, and his moves toward signing a “Canonical” Agreement. Positions of authority — and especially those of Major Superiors, *who have voting power in a General Chapter* — were then filled by Fellay Fan Boys.
    #3) Witness the sordid Vassal Affair. Fr. Vassal was found to have tolerated homosexual horseplay in the SSPX school in Post Falls for over a year, despite warnings and complaints. At a teachers’ meeting, he said that masturbation is not a mortal sin, and that *mutual* masturbation is more or less normal experimentation among schoolboys. This I heard myself from one of the teachers present, whose reputation for honesty is irreproachable. This Fr. Vassal was sent to the seminary in Dillwyn to teach — of all things — Moral Theology! (You can’t make this stuff up).
    #4) Witness the Purgatio Minor (Lesser Purge) of the seven priest-deans in France, who dared to criticize Fellay’s policy of letting Novus Ordo priests officiate at SSPX weddings. The replacement chosen for the most important of these deanerys, St. Nicolas du Chardonnet, was none other than Fr. Vassal, and that was a decision made by Bs. Fellay personally! Fortunately, many brave souls at St. Nicolas showed themselves to be of better metal than their U.S. brothers; they staged a series of demonstrations against Le Corrupteur (Fr. Vassal). Management eventually was forced (and I do mean forced) to back down. So they reassigned him — back to Dillwyn…and back to teaching Moral Theology. He’s still there, last I heard.
    Now, of those of us who were around in the 1970s and afterward, and keeping just one eye open on the Church scene, is there anybody who sees similarities in all this to the way the Novus Ordo destroyers operated?
    I hope so.
    For those who weren’t, I’ll spell it out.
    Then: Novus Ordo authorities exerted pressure of all kinds on Trad priests to get them to toe the Modernist line, especially “You’re disloyal and disobedient”, and “You’re stuck in the past. It’s the same Church, we’re just updating”.
    Now: Menzingen authorities do the same to get Old School SSPX priests to toe the “Canonical” Agreement line: “You’re disloyal and disobedient”, and “You’re stuck in the past. If Lefebvre were alive today, he would agree with our decisions”.
    Concerning the recalcitrant Old Schoolers:
    Then: Novus Ordo authorities made them look bad, demoted them; sent them off to Podunk Parish where they would be neither seen nor heard.
    Now: Menzingen authorities do the same.
    Concerning questionable actions or even blatant immorality among its priests:
    Then: Novus Ordo authorities excused them, covered up for them, and even *promoted* them, especially to positons of influence — among the most important of which are professorships in seminaries.
    Now: Menzingen authorities do the same.
    One last example of history repeating itself:
    Then: The Schmuks In The Pews, being themselves generally too Liberal, also preferred the “reality” that they wanted to the Reality that was; they wanted to go on living their comfy material life without their conscience bothering them too much; they wanted to put a better interpretation on Reality than Reality was giving of itself; they wanted to have their cake and eat it too; to soak themselves in this world’s pleasures, then pretend they were still worthy of those of the next. So they Let Things Slide — right into the present chaos.
    There was a remnant, of course, the Old Schoolers, that held on, fighting all the way. Their exemplar was Arb. Lefebvre.
    Now: The Old Schoolers are either dying off or being pushed aside. A new generation has come along: The New Sliders.
    I’ll be praying and doing penance for the SSPX General Chapter, going on this month. I urge everyone to do likewise.
    Just my opinion, but if Fellay and suchlike operators retain their power, the demise of the SSPX is sealed. Look at what has happened in the last 12 years of Fellay’s rule…then project that another 12 years into the future.
    The SSPX is not the Be All And End All of Catholicism. But it IS the main force. If it goes down, we are toast.

  6. NIN, you speak from a position of true experience and knowledge and I have never doubted your judgment. I most certainly do NOT doubt it in this case, as well.
    The Vassal affair is utterly distressing as is the 2012 Saturday Night Massacre you detailed.
    Anyway, I’ll post what may be the substantiating evidence re. AMS and Fr.,Cusick, which just came to hand via another trad friend, also from a career military background… (See below)

  7. gpmtrad,

    Abp. Broglio’s stance against the Latin Mass. However you can’t take us for fools in thinking that a SSPX would be allowed to say the Novus Ordo Missae and still remain in the SSPX. The SSPX doesn’t even regard the Novus Missae as a legitimate rite of the Church, let alone to approve of one of it’s priests to celebrate it, under any form.

    We need to keep this site on a professional level.

  8. Nice guy,

    I can see that you are just looking for anything to attempt to slander the SSPX.

    As regarding Archbishop Lefebvre’view, I can cite as I have a number of times, regardless of what you want to quote, the facts are that he was always open to discussions with Rome regardless of the what he may have said. He always regard the Vatican authorities as his lawful superiors to whom he was bound in all things lawful to obey. His actions always confirmed.

    As regards “Purge”: Please, these clergy freely chose to leave! I can give a number of SSPX clergy that had spoke their mind and yet are still in the SSPX today, even if they have openly differing views from their superiors. Yet, keep in mind that even in the time of the Archbishop, clergy were not free to openly show him subordination and continue in the SSPX. This should be a basic fact for any organisation!

    As for the “Fr. Vassal Afffair” please give me a break, the personal negligence/short comings or failings of an individual priest do not make for SSPX policy! Grasping at straws!! Anything to attack the SSPX. What is more, as there is a lot more in this matter than slanders takes time to report. They just want to see the evil rather than look at the real circumstances and facts.

    No one is claiming the SSPX is the Church etc, but please give us a break. Your claim for ‘doing penance’ but on the other hand are quick to slander and look for attacking the SSPX, trying to find a ‘weakness’ to find fault, reminds of the Pharisees in the gospel.

    Give us some clear objective facts, before you grasp at straws.

    Bishop Williamson has openly said, one can go to the New Mass, and yet no one is calling him out for being a conciliar traitor. . . . The Resistance, only look at things through the rosy glasses of personality cults rather than being able to see the Catholic principles that are at stake.

    The SSPX has always had to tread, from day one, the fine line between it’s clear loyalty to the Church and true obedience to the authorities in the Church while rejecting the Modernism and Liberalism they profess. Thank God for the SSPX. Let us speak from the facts and even then, let us speak from prudence and clear Catholic Charity, calling the spade for the spade that it is, but within the proper Catholic context.

  9. I just heard from my friend in the Chaplain Corps. He considered the totality of information and stated it was inconclusive, either way. Enough is not yet known. He did speculate that Cusick may be planning to leave the Society and looks at AMS as a departure vehicle, but only the priest could verify whether that was at all true.

  10. Vinent & NIN, being a complete outsider in re. SSPX, I respect each of your takes in this discussion and am reminded of how confusing it was for me, at least, to sort matters out six years ago.
    I will await further developments and hope some clarifications emerge.

  11. Re. Fr. Cusick: I mistakenly took him to be an SSPX priest. He is not.
    And, Vinent, I most certainly do not take SSPX – laity to “be fools.” I RELY upon their information and perspectives since I have no other contact with the Society. Were it not for Abp. LeFebvre, however, would all be racing about trying to find a Mass being celebrated in a garage.
    I follow ALL traditional organizations in the news online. It is sad there are so many mini-civil wars but it is also one indication of the vigorous debate that was made necessary by V2’s carpet bombing of everything traditional in the Church. Hilary White posted a well thought-out perspective on that very point today on her site.

  12. Dear gpm,
    Thanks so much for the link. There it clearly states that an SSPX priest is among the retreatants, though it does not name names.
    This is curious, because I went to the AMS website yesterday, and I think to this same page,but did not see a reference to any SSPX priest, named or not. Did I miss it earlier, or what is going on?
    Dear Vinent,
    “Nice guy”
    Yes. Because if Nice Is Nasty, then Nasty is Nice.
    To be perfectly clear: Covering up Truth for the sake of being nice is to do evil to one’s neighbor — and that’s nasty. But telling a nasty Truth to one’s neighbor for the sake of good is really being nice.
    I suggest that we approach the matter objectively, as Archbishop Lefebvre would have done.
    As to me looking for anything to slander the SSPX, I made clear that the jury is still out re/ this particular matter on the AMS that Sean Johnson brought up.
    But my main point was that, outside of this, from the perspective of historical fact (some of which facts I mentioned), the SSPX is most definitely tending toward Liberalism.
    Are you able to debunk any of the historical facts I mentioned?
    I hope so. I WANT to hear a plausible debunking. However, not being a Liberal, I strive to ignore my wants and adhere to facts. If you can show that the facts I mentioned are not facts at all, I will feel better, but as to that Arb. Lefebvre “was always open to discussions with Rome” and that “He always regard[ed] the Vatican authorities as his lawful superiors to whom he was bound in all things lawful to obey”, I can only say: I AGREE.
    But that is totally beside the point.
    As I have said, though he wanted discussions with Rome, at least after 1988, these discussions were governed by the Basic Operating Principle: NO practical agreement without doctrinal agreement first.
    Have Fellay and Menzingen reversed this principle, or not?
    If you want to keep this site on a professional level, please just say Yes or No, and cite sources.
    As to the Purges, I SAID NOTHING ABOUT PRIESTS THAT ACTUALLY LEFT. I was talking about those that *remained*, but were transferred out of positions of authority and replaced with Yes Men. I hate to criticize a well-intentioned person (as I’m sure you are), but really, you need to just take words at face value, and not be looking to trash the arguments of someone you perceive to be an enemy, just because you think he is an enemy. And for the record, I DO NOT view YOU as an enemy. I grant that there are a number of SSPX priests who spoke in open disagreement with Menzingen, and were not expelled. My point was not that they were all expelled, but that they were mostly all silenced, and/or removed from positions of authority — especially voting positions.
    Yes, I get that no organization can long survive when lower management is constantly at public odds with upper management. The problem is not that lower management is being…um, reorganized, to conform with the spirit of upper management, but that the spirit of upper management is itself simply, and objectively, WRONG.
    Arb. Lefebvre made purges too, but for the right reasons.
    Again, did Menzingen reverse Arb. Lefebvre’s Basic Operating Principle, or not?
    “As for the “Fr. Vassal Afffair” please give me a break, the personal negligence/short comings or failings of an individual priest do not make for SSPX policy! ”
    Excuse me, but here I just have to blast you in the face with both barrels. The actions of any individual priest do not reveal the policy of management; they reveal the policy of the priest in question. But the actions of management *in response* to the actions of the individual priest reveal the policy of management.
    Anybody who cannot see this is simply blind as a bat.
    That said, I will still go so far as to grant that perhaps management was ignorant, bamboozled by personal friends of the said priest, or whatever.
    But really, after all the time that went by between the scandals in Post Falls and the favoritism shown to said priest later, and all the consequent opportunities that management had, to dig down to the facts in the interim, it’s stretching the most generous Charity to the breaking point to continue hoping that ignorance or innocent deception are behind management’s policy.
    Who really is grasping at straws here?
    I am afraid that the “evil” and the “real circumstances and facts” are one and the same. I would *like* the circumstances and facts to be different. Do you have objective evidence to the contrary?
    “Your claim for ‘doing penance’ but on the other hand are quick to slander and look for attacking the SSPX, trying to find a ‘weakness’ to find fault, reminds of the Pharisees in the gospel.”
    Really? Where does the gospel say that the Pharisees did real penance?
    Your comment sounds uncomfortably like a couple of those of a very, very recent pope, who spoke (in his usual backhanded, passive/aggressive manner, but quite clearly) of Traditionalists (that’s you and I, pal) who “sit in the chair of Moses, to cast stones at others” (cf AL #305) — and by “the others”, as we all know, he meant those who refuse Traditional doctrine on marriage.
    Speaking of objective evidence, you say “Give us some clear objective facts”.
    I answer: I thought I had done so. My assumption though was that anyone who had not yet done so would do a little research and dig up sources.
    Speaking of penance, I’ll bend over backward and do it for you. But I need to know exactly which of the disputed historical facts you are in doubt of.
    “Thank God for the SSPX. Let us speak from the facts and even then, let us speak from prudence and clear Catholic Charity, calling the spade for the spade that it is, but within the proper Catholic context.”
    I couldn’t agree more.
    Pax, amice.

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