New traditionalist institute founded

A new traditionalist institite has been established under the aegis of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" (my old stomping ground) and the Congregation for Clergy together with the Congregation for Religious.  I tip my cappello romano to Rorate for this news this morning,   o):¬)      which published the article in French but without English text.  Here is an English translation of what I consider the salient paragraphs.  The rest are details of who is involved, etc., which can be dealt with later.  My emphasis. 

Friday, September 08, 2006
Vatican erects new Traditional Institute
Vatican – Agence I.MEDIA

Rome has set up a new traditionalist fraternity accepting former priests and seminarians of the Fraterniy of St. Pius X.

The Congregation for Clergy erected on 8 September 2006, a new religious institute, “Good Shepherd”, taking in former priests and seminiarians of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, separated from Rome since 1988, according to the information gathered by I.MEDIA.  The seat of this new fraternity where the priests will celebrate Mass exclusively according to the traditional liturgical rite of St. Pius V could be at Bordeaux (France) at the Church of St. Eligius.

On the morning of 8 September 2006, Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, Dario Card. Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, also in charge of the Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, signed the decree of erection of the institute of pontifical rite of the “Good Shepherd”.  This concerns a society of apostolic life under the guidance of the Commission “Ecclesia Dei” and also the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.  In the decree Card. Hoyos approved the statutes of the new institute which will have as its superior a priest ejected from the Fraternity of St. Pius X, the ebullient Fr. Philippe Laguérie.

According to Vatican sources, the innovation rests in the fact that “Benedict XVI himself desired this approach” according to which “the traditional Missal of St. Pius V is not a separate Missal but rather a special form of the unique Roman Rite.”   In the Vatican, as among the members of the new institute, it is stressed that “this accord corresponds to the requests once made by Monsignor Lefebvre”, separate from Rome in 1988.

The new fraternity counts among its ranks, aside from five priests, some seminarians assured to be ordained in the near future.  Dario Card. Castrillon Hoyos has said he will celebrate the first ordinations.  Those responsible for the fraternity also count on the fact that the priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X could opt to follow them and that they can found in different dioceses, “personal parishes”.   In Bordeaux, Paris and other places, these priests are supported by a number of faithful attached to the Missal of St. Pius V, the liturgical rite in force before the liturgical reform of 1969.

In April 2006, at Lourdes, Jean-Pierre Card. Ricar stated before a meeting of the bishops of France that “the question of relations with the Fraternity of St. Pius X” merits “a special treatment”.  “We know that Pope Benedict XVI is concerned about this” he explained, adding that, “in the weeks or months to come, he should be giving directives to facilitate a path toward a possible return to full communion.”  “We will welcome these in good faith and put them into practice faithfully”, Card. Richard again shot at the bishops.

What is going on?  Here are a few points.

1) There is some bad blood between the SSPX and the FSSP as well as (probably) the Institute of Christ the King, which makes the FSSP and the ICK less than optimal alternatives for men of the SSPX who want to be in union with Rome.  This new group offers a fresh possibility for those who were in line with the men in this new group who themselves were tossed from the SSPX for various internal reasons.

2) This seems to be main a French reality.

3) Benedict XVI is using Cardinal Ricard, a member of the P.C. "Ecclesia Dei" to put head pressure on the French bishops who, in the past, have been terribly hostile to anything having to do with the older form of Mass, etc.

4) Benedict XVI is acting, chipping away at the edges.

5) Card. Ricard suggests that this move is part of Pope Benedict XVI’s plans for "full communion".

6) The fact that this group is for former SSPXers suggests that it is not going to be accepting new candidates who were not in the SSPX.  Thus, this is aimed squarely at the SSPX.

7) Given the fact of the plenary of the SSPX and the contact Bp. Fellay had with Pope Benedict XVI, it strikes me that His Holiness belives that there is enough discontent in the SSPX, or enough harmony with the positions of the former SSPX priests founding this new institute, that it was time to "strike while the iron is hot" so to speak.

These are some initial impressions.

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30 Responses to New traditionalist institute founded

  1. Cornelius says:

    Well, there goes the chance of any reconciliation via direct talks with SSPX. This
    will be rightly interpreted as a direct move against SSPX.

  2. Tim Ferguson says:

    Frankly, I think it’s a recognition that the efforts at reconciliation via direct talks has not produced any positive effect. I don’t think that further talks, or further promises of future talks will do much to bring about any corporate reunion, as long as elements within the SSPX continue to be recalcitrant. Perhaps this group, without the history of tension with the SSPX as the FSSP and ICK have, will actually facilitate the reconciliation of a number of SSPX men who otherwise would have remained outside the gates.

    From my perspective, the reconciliation of any number of former members of the SSPX is good news – add to that the promise of yet another order committed to the celebration of the Tridentine Mass, and we’ve got two things to cheer today!

  3. Interesting “move” if I may term it that way. I do find it a bit odd that there woudl be the “bad blood” if the FSSP was basically founded under the same circumstances (this is my assumption, I don’t know much about the FSSP).
    While I have not given up hope on an SSPX reconciliation, I have never seen much probability in it given Bishop Fellay’s constant demands that almost sound like, “if the Church cchanges everything back, we’ll grace the Church with our presence again.” He may not have said that or even intended that, but that has been my impression with what I have read about the talks.
    It SEEMS like this shows that the pope feels the talks were not going anywhere but that there are those in SSPX who do want to be in union with Rome again.
    I would certainly like to know more about the details of what brought this on.

  4. Jon says:

    Father,

    In your opinion, is declaring the ’62 Missal a “special form,” or “variation” of the Roman Rite a toe in the water for a canonical regularization in the forthcoming Apostolic Exhortation?

    Wouldn’t a declaration like that simply make moot a general indult or a confirmation of Quo Primum, not to mention completely by-pass and render unnecessary episcopal approval of any kind?

    As those Guinness guys say, “Brilliant!”

  5. Proklos says:

    I agree with Cornelius. This will be rightly interpreted as a direct move against SSPX. The issues that divide traditional Catholics arising from the unwarranted innovations that came in the wake of Vatican II are the central concern and not the liturgy. The liturgy is simply expressive of what some of us see as a failure of intention on the part of many bishops and priests to do what the Church does when it offers mass. This perception was augmented by John Paul II determination in No. 46 of the encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” that there are special circumstances in which protestants may receive communion providing that they believe in the real presence and the validity of Catholic orders. Such a ruling of course was not new but had come earlier. What was new was that the strictures on communion of protestants were loosed further.
    The late Pope’s move seems to us to portray an ecclesiology contrary to that of Catholic or even Orthodox Christians. In short, it appears contrary to the ecclesiology presented by the majority of Church Fathers and the ancient Christian Church. The SSPX has been a stalwart defender of Church teachings over the years and if it were’nt for them and their founder of blessed memory, there would be no Ecclesia Dei commision nor indult mass.
    I remain with the Vatican II Conciliar Church for reasons of ministry but my intentions are firmly with those of the martyrs and the pre-Vatican II Catholic church. I only hope that the members of SSPX will hold out and not give into the current regime. It is but a subterfuge to deprive of Catholcis of our heritage in the true faith.

    Sorry, Father. I do not mean to be disrespectful of your position. I only want to affirm my own. It is one shared by a number of bench sitters, since breaking communion with the Church that gave us life is a grave matter. But with moves like that of Hoyos, many will be left with little choice.

  6. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    Proklos,

    Even with a sympathetic ear, I do take issue with the statement of “and if it were’nt for them and their founder of blessed memory, there would be no Ecclesia Dei commision nor indult mass.” We have have those blessing because of the the Lord Almighty and noone else. That said, I commend your choice to stick with the Church.

    A bit of armchair “strategery” here but that is what one does on a blog. It seems to me that this is a necessary first step towards bigger things. If the Holy Father is going to open the door on the Missal of Pope Saint Pius V (I pray) and possibly make some other overtures towards SSPX then he has to be prepared for them to say “no”. In other words, once the Pope does everything he is willing to do in order to reconcile the divide there is still a chance that SSPX (or parts thereof) will never return. This provides yet another new home for those that would leave SSPX after the Pope’s actions.

    Let us all pray for the best.

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    and if it were’nt for them and their founder of blessed memory, there would be no Ecclesia Dei commision nor indult mass.

    Without making any value judgement pro or con the SSPX or FSSP, or pro or con the TLM or Novus Ordo, thus irregardless of any pro or con about anything whatsoever, it’s my (not necessarily especially well-informed) understanding that this is simply a statement of historical fact. But “only Benedict can say for sure”, if I understand correctly that he was pretty much personally responsible for those events in 1988.

    Of course, one can well take the view (like the ancient Israelites) that essentially everything that happens is “because of the Lord Almighty”. Though I personally might not go that far.

  8. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    Henry,

    I understand that thought process totally and the factual aspects of it as well. I think my problem is how Bishop Lefebre is at times treated as “savior-like” by SOME of the SSPX crowd. The “if not for him” we would be headed for “hell in a handbasket” sentiment just turns me off. Taking the view that “everything that happens is because of the Lord Almightly” might very well be simplistic so perhaps we should all pray that we can be His instruments in doing His will. For me, as much as I am sympathetic to SSPX, I will remain against the approach taken by Bishop Lefebre. There are “right ways” and “wrong ways” to be “right”. In that I think most here would agree.

    God Bless,
    Stu

  9. Proklos says:

    Jeffrey;
    I meant that the Church did nothing to make the 1962 mass available to Catholic until the Lefebvre fiasco. If it had not been for that, I do not believe we would have the indult mass today. In my city I watched every tridentine mass shut down. Then suddenly the indult arose to attract people away from SSPX. I do not belong to a cult around Archbishop Lefebvre. But I have listened to him as well as Bishops Fellay and Williamson. I find their words inspiring, especially Bishop Williamson. I am not a great joiner of organizations. And I dislike personality cults intensely. The Church is enough. And the Church is most fully itself when gathered at the sacred synaxis of the eucharist. So with me, any valid mass is fine. But under the novus ordo regime I witnessed many acts of sacrilege, e.g., the use of ordinary bread and the sacred species left or swept on the floor. I never saw this with the ordo antiquus. So I avoid the novus ordo out of scrupulosity.

  10. Pingback: Fool me once « Traditional Anglopapist

  11. Fr Jerome says:

    Would someone explain to me how the 1962 revision of the Pius V Missal can be a variation of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Paul VI?!

    Surely Paul VI’s Roman Missal was a ‘new rite’ a ‘novus ordo’ distinct and separate from the Pius V ordo even if sharing in some of the ancient structures and forms of the Mass as it has been celebrated since antiquity? It is not a revision of the Tridentine, it is a new rite – otherwise Paul VI would incurr the penalties ascribed by Pius V in Quo Primum wouldn’t he?

    I think it admirable that a new traditional institute is being founded, also that this is deliberately to facilitate the reconciliation with Rome of former SSPX members – even the most hopeful observer of SSPX/Rome dialogue must agree that “not in your lifetime” is all that can be expected from the current impasse?! SSPX wants a reversal of VCII – that won’t happen, so the Holy Father (as did his predecessor in 1988) is opening another door for those who can’t wait for “hell to freeze over”.

    All deserve our prayers – but I for one am pleased that the Holy Father is showing a more favourable position to the traditional Mass by establishing yet another institute for its furtherance and possibly implying/hinting at a wider relaxation of the indult.

  12. MB says:

    There is nothing inspiring about those who turn their back on the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in times of trouble. A house divided against itself cannot stand. If we had all those who believe what they say in the creed on the same side of the fence supporting the Holy Father and the Mother Church, the dissenters of our time wouldn’t have made half the progress they have. There’s a reason pride tops out the deadly sin list.

  13. Jeffrey Stuart says:

    Proklos,

    “The Church is enough”.

    In that sentiment we agree. If the 1962 Mass is indeed something to preserved, then God will make it so. In that I have no doubt. The Lord may certainly have used Bishop Lefebvre’s actions to further that cause but given the Lord can and does anything I believe that an obedient Bishop Lefebvre would have done much for that cause as well. But in reading your posts, I think we pretty much agree.

    God Bless,
    Stu

  14. Jordan Potter says:

    “Then suddenly the indult arose to attract people away from SSPX.”

    Um, no, the indult is intended to keep the SSPX from attracting eople away from full communion with the Catholic Church and obedience to the Holy See

    “Would someone explain to me how the 1962 revision of the Pius V Missal can be a variation of the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Paul VI?!”

    I think you misread the report, Father. Nothing was said about the 1962 Missal being a variation of the 1970 Missal. Rather, the report said, “the traditional Missal of St. Pius V is not a separate Missal but rather a special form of the unique Roman Rite.”

    “It is not a revision of the Tridentine, it is a new rite – otherwise Paul VI would incur the penalties ascribed by Pius V in Quo Primum wouldn’t he?”

    The disciplinary rulings of the Pope and the Council Fathers of Vatican II pertaining to the liturgy have superseded the disciplinary rulings of the Pope and the Council Fathers of Trent. Quo Primum is a dead letter.

  15. Brian Mershon says:

    Dear Father Zuhlsdorf, Please e-mail me ASAP with a phone number and a good time to contact you regarding this new institute and its ramifications.

    More details for your review can be seen at http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/.

  16. Albertus says:

    The disciplinary rulings of the Pope and the Council Fathers of Vatican II pertaining to the liturgy have superseded the disciplinary rulings of the Pope and the Council Fathers of Trent.

    Exactly which rulings of the Pope and VII Fathers regarding the liturgy supersede St. Pope Pius V and the Council Fathers of Trent? Nowhere in any document did they say to “retire” the Tridentine Mass and create a new liturgy which became the Novus Ordo. Why did St. Pope Pius V include in perpituity anyway if he felt it was possible to be changed. He used pretty specific language. In fact St. Pius V was far more gracious in allowingin allowing earlier longstanding rites of Mass within the Roman Church, for example the Dominican Rite.

  17. Jelina says:

    I have to say any move like this is encouraging. I really hope that this will make the SSPX think, but I don’t think they will come all the way in until other things have changed. I really don’t believe the SSPX is “schismatic” but I would like their situation to be more “regularized” to cause less scandal to the public. So, this new order brings hope for this. I also hope the Pope will be more open to other traditional ideas such as a “universal” indult for Latin Mass to be offered anywhere by any priest and no need for local bishop approval. I think this is what the SSPX would like to see too.

  18. Brian Murphy says:

    Fr. Z,

    Do you have any commentary on the reported statements made by Fr. Laguerie that the liberalization of the TLM is approaching in October or November?

  19. Brian: Sure I do. And you can quote me. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” I am truly cautiously optimistic, but we should be realistic about our expectations.

  20. Anonymous says:

    “Um, no, the indult is intended to keep the SSPX from attracting eople away from full communion with the Catholic Church and obedience to the Holy See”

    Partially correct. The Motu Proprio was intended to bring SSPX priests and those who attend their masses back to Rome.


    The disciplinary rulings of the Pope and the Council Fathers of Vatican II pertaining to the liturgy have superseded the disciplinary rulings of the Pope and the Council Fathers of Trent. Quo Primum is a dead letter.

    Comment by Jordan Potter”

    Totally incorrect.

    1. Cardinal Ratzinger wrote and said more than once that the Novus Ordo is a departure from the documents of Vatican II. And so it is not a matter of the 1962 Missal vs Vat II.

    2. The status of Quo Primum is complex. Any pope has the juridical authority to promulgate a missal–thus the Novus Ordo, which, as Paul VI said, was an innovation.

    On the other hand, there is the matter of whether moral authority, which is invoked when Quo Primum closes with the famous curse on anyone who prevents the use of the historical Roman Rite, revised as the Missal of Pius V.

    Two points:

    a. The collapse of the life of the Church in the past 40 years, well documented in scandals, lack of vocations, lack of fidelity to doctrine, etc., indicates that Quo Primum is still relevant.

    b. This is confirmed by Cardinal Ratzinger, who at various times said that the crisis in the Church is mostly due to the collapse of the liturgy.

  21. fr.franklyn says:

    We would have had the indult without SSPX.he narional Catholic Reporter said that it was thr intention of PJPII since he was elected.Cardinal Oddi said as much to me.The orifinal indult was issued by JP despite overwhelming opposition of the world’s bishps.JPII consulted the bishops and they said 85-90%no.That is why it was so narrowly written.I remember reading the respose of the liturgical bureaucarcy in the USCC.They made a joke of the fact that the bishops who wanted it were mainly in EasternEurope and Africa, Pope Paul reluctantly allowed the 1965 missal in England under very strict conditions because of a petition of artists and intellectuals not from any desire to appease SSPX. The traditional Roman rite of o of its very self attracts.The presence of SSPX both facilitated the rite and hindered it>it was CardinalRatzingers predecessor who accused Archbishop L.,in the presence of PJPII of usinf something which he held dear to divide the church.

  22. Jordan Potter says:

    “The status of Quo Primum is complex.”

    The Pope and Council Fathers of Vatican II, and all Popes since then, have acted as is Quo Primum is a dead letter. If it were binding on them, why hasn’t God moved them to undo every positive and less-than-positive (there’s a nice euphemism for you) liturgical reform made since the Council. The idea that Quo Primum set the Missal in stone for all time is just silly. The liturgy is a living, growing thing. One may wonder at the wisdom of many of the liturgical reforms, as I do, but Quo Primum was never capable of preventing Popes and General Councils from reforming the liturgy.

  23. Jordan Potter says:

    “Exactly which rulings of the Pope and VII Fathers regarding the liturgy supersede St. Pope Pius V and the Council Fathers of Trent?”

    Every disciplinary ruling on the liturgy of the Pope and Vatican II Fathers that modifies the earlier rulings and laws of Pope St. Pius V and the Tridentine Fathers. “In perpetuity” can’t be taken so literally.

    Do you think we should all stand during the Anaphora and Consecration on Sundays, as the Pope and Council Fathers of Nicaea commanded the whole Church to do? Does the Church have the authority to bind and loose, or not?

  24. Jeff says:

    Jordan Potter:

    I think it’s not just an issue of Quo Primum. Quo Primum deals with the revision of the books by St. Pius V.

    But the question of whether the New Rite departs so substantially from the old as to be another rite is one that Cardinal Ratzinger took very seriously indeed. In The Spirit of the Liturgy he says that the old rites, in contrast to the new, were developed, in way roughly parallel to Scripture, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And in God and the World, he says that nothing like the liturgical changes visited on the Church had ever happened before in history and they made it almost impossible to trust the Church at all. Klaus Gamber wrote in a book for which Ratzinger provided a Preface that if a Pope wanted to abolish a genuine Rite of the Church he would probably be acting beyond his powers. From this, he concluded, and Ratzinger apparently concluded as well, that the old Rite never HAD been abolished.

    I am not a partisan and I realize there is an argument on the other side. But you are putting the issue too simply, misled, I think, by the terms in which the argument was put.

    Quo Primum is dead as a doornail. The older form of the Roman Rite.

  25. Jeff says:

    The older form of the Rite, I meant to say, lives on of inalienable right in the Church, according to many.

  26. Kurt says:

    To expand upon what Jeff said, some would argue that it is not so much Quo Primum as the fact that the older form of the Roman Rite–existing with only relatively minor changes for 500-1000 years (depending on how you calculate it)–has the status of immemorial custom (which is 100+ years). Immemorial custom–still acording to the new Code of Canon Law–can only be abolished by express mention. The “substitution” of a new missal is not canonically enough to accomplish this–or so the argument goes.

  27. Jeff says:

    Excellent point succinctly put, Kurt.

  28. Jordan Potter says:

    “I am not a partisan and I realize there is an argument on the other side. But you are putting the issue too simply, misled, I think, by the terms in which the argument was put.”

    My argument is only that Quo Primum does not bind Popes and Councils from reforming the liturgy, either in small ways or big ways, and that the Pauline Missal need not be classified as a new Rite in order to find a loophole in Quo Primum.

    “Quo Primum is dead as a doornail. The older form of the Rite lives on of inalienable right in the Church, according to many.”

    I agree.

  29. Anonymous says:

    1. It is not really correct to call the Novus Ordo the Roman Rite. Juridically, it can be called the Roman Rite because it was promulgated by the Bishop of Rome.

    2. Historically, however, it is not the Roman Rite:

    a. The Offertory of the Novus Ordo is not the Offertory of the Roman Rite.

    b. At the beginning of the 1st Eucharistic Prayer in the Novus Ordo Sacramentary are the words “Roman Canon”. Some Missalettes used to have the same phrase.

    Eu Prayers 2-4 are not the Roman Canon. And of course, the Eu Prayer is the most important part of the mass–it is where the sacrifice is effected.

    c. The instructions for the Novus Ordo say that the 1st Eu Prayer be seldom used. Most priests seem to have diligently followed this recommendation, leaving more time for vapid, sentimental homilies and singing the gems from the St Louis Jesuit songbook.

    3. As I said above, no pope can prevent any successor from promulgating a Missal–it is papal juridical authority that cannot be taken away. And neither does Quo Primus do this. Instead, it invokes moral authority–that anyone who alters “this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition . . . Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

    4. Quo Primum is an Apostolic Constitution, the most solemn form of papal decree.

    5. Is Quo Primum a dead letter? In a way it is–just as Veterum Sapientia (Apostolic Constitution on the use of Latin) also is.

    But in another way it is not–we must wonder whether in the present circumstances in the Church we are now experiencing its curse.

  30. Maurino says:

    I have been a former Seminarian at Econe for Three years of Theology and I quit
    SSPX before the unfortunate Schism caused by the contradictory and ridiculous
    hardline ideologies of late Msgr.M. Lefebvre. Regrettably in his personal pride and egoism
    thought himself as the “Be All and End All” sole Authority to judge the
    Holy Magisterium of the Church, To criticize openly the Teachings of the Holy Father
    Pope John Paul II, and to deny the validity of Vatican Council II and even going
    to the scandalous extent of stating that the one seated on St. Peter’s Chair is
    not a true Pope but Satan himself…..If Msgr. Lefebvre thought he was totally
    faithful to the Council of Trent, he was ridiculously fooling himself with his
    wrong attitudes and leading the simple faithful Catholic flock away from their
    fidelity to Apostolic Tradition and the Catholic Church…..Maurino Alphonso, now
    settled in Canada, much involved in Parish Life and lover of the Tridentine Holy
    Mass in Latin.