Thoughts on the SSPX opportunity

I am convinced that there must now be a dramatic gesture of humility on the part of the SSPX. 

Everyone involved in this dispute, on both sides of this split, SSPX and Holy See alike, are good people. 

They all have convictions and zeal. 

They all love Jesus and the Church.

Mistakes have been made on both sides over the years.  The consecrations and continuing defiance was just plain wrong.  The attitude of many in the Roman Curia and the hostility to tradition was just plain wrong.  [I do not mean by this that I think there is a moral equivalence between the SSPX and the Church here!  That is not the case.]

Lot’s of people have been hurt.

It is time to let that go, turn around, and take another direction.

The Holy Father has extended a firm but gentle hand in the direction of the SSPX and waits for them to come to him.

I have no doubt that this Pope, the man best situated in the entire Church to grasp the issues involved and the history of the conflict, will respond with expansive generosity… if only the SSPX would budge, even a little.

I believe that even small positive moves by the SSPX will be greeted with even more lavish concessions, canonical and other. 

The parable of the Prodigal Son comes to mind (cf. Luke 15 in whatever translation you prefer) as a lens, a hermeneutic, for reading what is possible.

If you read what the Lord says carefully, you find that the father of the fallen lad saw his son at a distance, returning, coming up the road. 

That means the father was watching for him.  He longed for his son and in hope watched for him. 

Then, once the father caught glimpse of his boy from afar, he ran to meet him. 

He ran to meet him. 

Even if the son didn’t also run, and the Lord doesn’t focus on him, look at what the father did. 

Please, God, let there be humility on both sides of this present endeavor. 

The Holy Father will, I am sure, kill the canonical calf once some real dialogue has begun and lift the excommunications. 

I have little doubt but that he will cloth the SSPX in a precious garment of a juridical structure so that they have a renewed identity in the Church. 

He will place rings on their fingers, in a sense, and let their bishops be bishops for the group. 

Gestures of humility will be the cause of thousand fold rejoicing.

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91 Responses to Thoughts on the SSPX opportunity

  1. totustuusmaria says:

    That’s what makes this all so sad! There so much to understand about the SSPX situation. There’s so much good about the SSPX. Yet they don’t trust that the Pope is willing to be kind to them. Some want to remain outside because they think they’ll be heard more. They think if they come in, they’ll be shut up. The SSPX could be a source of great renewal for the Church. It could be.

    So the SSPX leaders think they’re in the right and the Pope in the wrong. Who cares! He’s the Pope, and it can’t hurt to give a little sign that you love him and want to be fully united to him.

    They point to the rosaries. Prayers are great; but what about something practical. Just a little bit. Just a little bit.

  2. Ben says:

    I think the following article showcases that, at its heart, SSPX leadership has a lot in common with the Pharisees of 2000 years ago:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsMaps/idUSL2641197220080626

    So sad.

  3. Romulus says:

    In the parable, the son had to hit rock bottom before he came to himself, resolving to return to the father.

    I pray it doesn’t come to that.

  4. Joseph Antoniello says:

    The unwavering stance of the Society seems to be causing almost as many unresolved issues as the original excommunications. Like you have said Father; this is an opportunity for true Christian humility.

  5. This won’t happen because anybody who has been following this situation for the past 25 years knows the SSPX hasn’t budged an inch in that time period. Can anyone honestly say they’ve heard a softening in the stance of Bishop Williamson or Tissier de Mallerais? Never once.

  6. Brian Mershon says:

    “When the Holy Father calls, we come.” Bishop Bernard Fellay, explaining his meeting with Pope John Paul II in 2000, Year of the Jubilee.

  7. Terry says:

    Bottom line:

    The SSPX thinks it is correct and Rome is wrong. That it holds to the truth and Rome does not.

    Read what they produce. Read Angel Queen, for heaven’s sake. They have no interest in coming to Rome because they think they are, indeed, more Catholic than the Pope. And they’d proudly say it.

    Secondly = and perhaps this is their one legitimate point (not an SSPX sympathizer here, obviously) is – why the preconditions and conditions for SSPX when liberals and radicals who publicly flout the Pope are not given conditions for their continued communion with Rome?

  8. Finn McCool says:

    I think it’s time to stop worrying about the SSPX and start focusing on the traditional Anglicans, and what they can contribute to the Church.

  9. Steve Skojec says:

    “When the Holy Father calls, we come.” Bishop Bernard Fellay, explaining his meeting with Pope John Paul II in 2000, Year of the Jubilee.

    “Except when we don’t really want to. Or we’re suspicious. Or we’re pretty sure there might be some ulterior motives at work. Or if we think our feelings will get hurt. Or we’ll have to stop saying divisive things in public. Or acknowledge that maybe we weren’t 100% free from error from the beginning.

    Other than that, we’re good. Hey, have you heard that the pope is a ‘perfect liberal’?”

    - The SSPX

  10. Brian Mershon,

    What is your opinion of the current situation?

  11. Steve Skojec says:

    All sarcasm aside, I want them to come back, and I’m praying for it to happen. But this veneer of impenetrable pride that they use as a shield seems to ward off any good-faith effort on the part of the Vatican.

    Heaven knows, as a traditional Catholic trying to stay within the meager provisions of the indult, now the Extraordinary Form, I’d love to see a group that knows what it’s doing add their experience to the mix. They just need to ratchet down the angst a bit.

  12. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Terry,

    If I may presume to cut in, when communion is visibly impaired – as it is with SSPX – it requires a visible reconciliation. When communion is not visibly impaired, reconciliation need not be public. The 20th chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew fits this situation to a T.

  13. I pray for the return of SSPX. It makes me so sad that they willingly separate themselves from the Church this way, just as much as it makes me sad that there are those who separate themselves while not officially leaving (i.e. dissenters).

    The attacks on the Church are just heartbreaking, but thank God for our Holy Father and the Holy Spirit’s guidance of him! Let’s keep praying for full unity of all Christians and trust in God’s mercy.

  14. Jason Keener says:

    May we all rejoice together soon!

    Saints Pius X, Peter, and Paul, pray for us.

  15. Brian Mershon says:

    Greg, I think we need to spend more time praying and less time following this story. (Coming from one who has been following it intently with a positive predisposition toward the SSPX for about 8 years).

    I think Bishop Fellay is between a rock and a hard place. I hope and pray that his response to the Holy See in his letter, whatever it was, reflected the five points outlined by Cardinal Castrillon.

    Some more bishop(s) and priests from the SSPX may trickle back into full recognized communion after this. But then again, the laity follow these stories more intently than the priests do, so who knows.

    Let’s keep praying for their full canonical regularization.

    Perhaps we should spend more time following and supporting the Institute of the Good Shepherd, the FSSP and the Institute of Christ the King? NONE of them are sell-outs and they all have many seminarians.

  16. Brian Mershon: Great quote. Do you have a reference or link for that?

  17. John6:54 says:

    I think Fellay and company are not the prodigal son but the older son who resents the return of his younger brother.

    To me the SSPX matches the attitude of the older son and resents his fathers forgiveness just as SSPX resents V2.

  18. Cacciaguida says:

    Mistakes have been made on both sides over the years. The consecrations and continuing defiance was just plain wrong. The attitude of many in the Roman Curia and the hostility to tradition was just plain wrong.

    Perhaps Pope Paul showed poor judgment in coming down harder on traditionalist excesses than he did on liberal ones. Apart from that, the hostility to tradition was all at much lower curial levels. JPII and (obviously) Pope Benedict have been kind and outreaching, even while the SSPX keeps kicking them in the teeth for their pains.

    I sense a bit of “moral equivalence” in the you’ve formulated this, father. “A’s been wrong, B’s been wrong, so let’s just have a vino and go home singing the Missa de Angelis.” Yeah, except in this case B just happens to be — The Church. Moral equivalence isn’t possible here.

    Reconciliation would be lovely, but the SSPX is holding out for unconditional surrender. Frankly, that’s what I would hold out for from the SSPX if I were Pope. Maybe that’s just one of the countless reasons why I’m not Pope. If the Holy Father wants to be more generous than I would be, fine. But sooner or later the SSPX may have to reap permanently the fruits of schism.

  19. Chris says:

    Very nicely put Father.

    Both sides have wronged each other during the years and both must show charity and humility. There are no clear-cut rights and wrongs during this time, only seperation and heartache.

    Let us pray that it ends soon. Let us pray for the full and immediate restoration of the traditional Mass and Faith.

  20. Matt says:

    This may have gone better had not the Vatican issued its
    demands as a type of “ultimatum”. This is very poor pastoral
    practise, given the long history of mistrust here.

    The SSPX are right in not wishing to be manipulated in this
    respect. Respect goes both ways and there was no sense placing
    a deadline on reconcilation. That was rightly interpreted
    as strong-arming the society. What ever happened to Ecumenism?

    (btw when does Hans Kung ever get his ultimatum?)

  21. SARK says:

    I posted this on the other thread – Father Z is such a fast worker that thread is already out of date.

    Perhaps I can provide some insight into the thinking of a substantial group of FSPX supporters – I will call them the ‘super-natural pragmatists’. I think I am one on these.

    I have attended Fraternity masses wih my family for nearly 19 years (yes I know I have a big carbon footprint). I will certainly continue to do so no matter how harshly they are treated by the Holy Father on this occasion.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist nor a neo-Jansenist – (often referred to, rather uncharitably, as the ‘nutcases’). I am just a husband and a father who wants to save his own soul and the souls of his family. That is to say my motives are not philosophical or ideological – they are completely practical.

    The society offers us well formed priests, certainly valid sacraments, freedom from heresy, sound spiritual direction, consistency and cohernece in the teaching of eternal Catholic truths, friends well educated and orthodox in matter of Faith and morals and (very importantly for a dad) wonderful schools.

    I won’t be so impolite as to say what would be on offer in your typical parish and your typical local ‘Catholic’ school, in the UK, the US or almost anywhere else in the world.
    The tragically sad thing is that my kids would hardly recognise it as Catholic.

    So the choice is clear for many of the current supporters of the FSPX when they have the strength of heart to see the situation from a purely supernatural perspective and without human respect. Continue to support the fraternity, frequent their parishes and send their children to their schools – in other words attempt to optimize the chances that we will save our souls; or do what?

    In other words for many of us there is currently really no choice. No choice, that is until, there is a ‘return to normal service’ in the broader Church – I fear that this will take more than subtle hints from the Holy Father about how to receive Our Blessed Lord reverently or how to vest with decorum.

    I am not a schismatic, I love the Catholic Church, and hope and pray that ‘normal service’ will be resumed as soon as possible or that the Pope would at least set out a vision by which this will be achieved.

  22. Jack Regan says:

    I think Fellay and company are not the prodigal son but the older son who resents the return of his younger brother.

    To me the SSPX matches the attitude of the older son and resents his fathers forgiveness just as SSPX resents V2.

    Brilliant :)

  23. Cathguy says:

    Fr. Z says it all in his post. It is well written and to the point.

    The fact that so many readers have a problem with what Fr. Z. said… “moral equivalence” and all that nonsense… shows what Traditionalists have had to go through in our Church.

    However, Father Z is right. It is time to let go of all that.

  24. I am not Spartacus says:

    All of the recent posts at Rorate signal what was easily predictable.

    The commentary at Angelqueen, if representative of a majority or significant minority of the schism’s supporters, does not bode well for any short-term possibility of even the first steps towards a reconciliation.

    The SSPX is an annealed and concretised schism. I know I am not the only vehement opponent of the schism who was moved by the pleas of Fr. Z. to sincerely and fervently pray for a positive outcome.

    I do think Mr. Mershon is spot on in his advice.

    I think it likely this rejection will result in the Pope formally declaring the sspx a schism and that will be, in mind at least, a positive outcome in that there will no longer be doubt in anyone’s mind as to their status.

    When reality becomes that stark, right choices are more easily made.

    The idea some in the sspx will relish being formally declared a schism indicates a level of intense insanity amongst some of their leaders and supporters.

    Once the deadline has been passed, it’d be best to just ignore the sspx and stop giving them any publicity. There is much to do in the Church and the gamesmenship of the sspx is a draining diversion from all of the positive changes already underway under this great Pope.

    If the sspx leaders can’t stomach the five requests from this great Pope, of what use are they to anyone?

  25. Brian: Perhaps we should spend more time following and supporting the Institute of the Good Shepherd, the FSSP and the Institute of Christ the King? NONE of them are sell-outs and they all have many seminarians.

    Sadly, I think this is what will happen. Sad, from the point of view of how much strong, what a great “accelerant” the SSPX could be for Pope Benedict’s chemistry of reinvigorating the Church’s identity after the catalyst Summorum Pontificum.

    The SSPX followers, after twenty years, have become a self-enclosed ghetto. They are now raising children who have never known unity with Rome and whose “Catholic” identity is that of resistance to the POPE and the Roman Church!

    As the new changes take hold and pick up speed, the SSPX will find itself less and less relevant to a recovery of the elements of Tradition they say they like.

    It is all so sad.

  26. Will says:

    It might be useful to refer to this article regarding the 2000 SSPX pilgrimage to Rome.

    http://www.sspxasia.com/Newsletters/2001/Jan-Mar/Roman-talks-An-Update.htm

    Bernard Fellay is quoted:

    “If he [the Pope] calls me, I go. Right away. Or rather, I run. This is certain. Because of obedience. By filial obedience with regard to the head of the Church.”

  27. Cacciaguida: I sense a bit of “moral equivalence” in the you’ve formulated this, father. “A’s been wrong, B’s been wrong, so let’s just have a vino and go home singing the Missa de Angelis.” Yeah, except in this case B just happens to be—The Church. Moral equivalence isn’t possible here.

    I can see why you would make that observation.

    However, in no way do I think there is moral equivalence between the position of the SSPX and the Holy See.

    I am constantly calling for submission on the part of the SSPX.

    However, there is that strictly human dimension. A lot of people have been hurt. At a certain point some of that hurt, and even differences, must be set to one side for a while. It is time to go to work with an attitude of charity, sacrificial love which always seeks the good of the other.

  28. Will says:

    Along with my post above, I just found the actual interview in Italian given by Fellay in 2000 to 30 Days.

    http://www.30giorni.it/it/articolo.asp?id=12512

  29. I am not Spartacus says:

    Fr. Z. One of the worst outcomes will be that your imagined meetings of the Deanery with SSPX priests in attendance will not eventuate. Now, that’d be a blast to be a fly on the wall were that to have happened.

  30. Terth says:

    I’m not saying this like I’m the first one to think of it, but why in the heck wouldn’t the SSPX agree to the five unarguably unproblematic resolutions, begin their journey back to the fold and then simply preach good theology from the pulpit. It seems like they love to joust against the Church on this teaching or that teaching; but we’ve all (or at least many) gone to Holy Mass offered according to the Novus Ordo and gotten a [surprisingly] wonderful and doctrinally sound homily. That would increase a billionfold if the SSPX were to rejoin the fold. For heaven’s sake – for our sake! – even if you disagree with the changes made after the Council, excommunications have meaning and unity with Rome has a salvific purpose.

  31. Terth says:

    (And I’m not suggesting that the SSPX would ever offer the Novus Ordo. I’m just saying you can stay in the Barque of Peter and change the visible nature of It from the inside better than you can from the outside.)

  32. Father Z,

    I actually think focusing on the FSSP, IGP, and ICKSP is a good idea. I have never been a fan of the SSPX “mission approach” where they set up these tiny Mass centres and then have a priest visit once a week. It is impossible to build a true parish life like this and you end up with fragments of the faithful who are like sheep without a shepherd. [Yah.. but we have to admire their dedication and the sacrifices they make to travel the circuit like that! - Fr. Z]

  33. - Spartacus: Can you imagine someone like Bp. Fellay stepping up to the microphone at a meeting of the USCCB during their liturgical or ecumenical dialogue discussions?

    I’d pay money.

  34. Jim says:

    I believe that BXVI will get substantially what he wants, whether or not Bp. Fellay beats the deadline. I don’t put it past the Holy Father to open up the floodgates of charity to whatever segment of the SSPX returns home. Those of good will, will return to full communion with or without their bishops. What will the SSPX do with a hundred empty chapels? Who will they shepherd?

    Again, they’re headed for one of two things: 1. Normalization 2. Irrelevance.

    Jimbo

    >Sadly, I think this is what will happen. Sad, from the point of view of how much strong, what a great “accelerant” the SSPX could be for Pope Benedict’s chemistry of reinvigorating the Church’s identity after the catalyst Summorum Pontificum.<

  35. Anonymous says:

    Father Z., you believe the SSPX needs humility, it seems from this response that’s one thing the SSPX leadership don’t have.

  36. Terth says:

    Jimbo – Normalization or irrelevance are probably the only logical outcomes for this. But, to be honest, I’d say irrelevance is a long way off. Part of Benedict’s plan is to implement the plan itself methodically and slowly. He sure is ratcheting it up with distributing Holy Communion kneeling, the “Benedictine altar arrangement,” etc., but in order not to repeat the sins of Vatican II, he has to go slow enough to at least give a reasonable opportunity for the hippies to stay aboard. That gives the SSPX a long time to continue to shout from the liturgical, but not communal, high road they find themselves on.

  37. Matt Q says:

    You know what, folks, let’s stop the invectives and complaining about the SSPX. It is what it is and Rome and they are working on it despite what it looks like in public, and they are not always running off to the media to report the latest phone call or chit-chat the one had the other.

    Let’s save the Captain Conniption routine for the real Schismatics, the real separated “brethren.” No one mentions anything about them. One or two of popping up every once in a while at the Vatican for Vespers is of little consequence other than the tokenism it speaks loudly of, while others just gush over it.

    Father Z wrote a very touching and very moving op-ed on the circumstances and it bespoke more charity and more grasp of the moment than most others have written.

    Thank you, Father Z.

  38. vox borealis says:

    SARK,

    I find your position intriguing. I wonder, and this is a serious question: what is the tipping point for you? At what point is the society’s separation from Rome too much of an impediment for you?

    For example, if SSPX were declared formally in schism, would you think that this situation would outweigh the good formation, etc. that compels you to attend their chapels?

  39. NOTE: Please don’t post “anonymous” comments.

    Always use a name or handle of some sort.

    I usually remove comments from “anonymous” or “anon” etc., even if they are perfectly okay.

    Thanks!

  40. B. says:

    I believe that even small positive moves by the SSPX will be greeted with even more lavish concessions, canonical and other.

    As much as I would like to believe that, I don’t.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would really like the SSPX to return, and I would find it scandalous, if they were to refuse to sign the five points. Nonetheless, I don’t think the pope really wants to accept the SSPX, I think Rome still dreams of Novus Ordoizing all Traditionalists. Nevertheless I think that the SSPX needs to come to terms, *despite* of that, just because it is the Catholic thing to do, and have God sort out the rest.

    But looking at the facts just shows that Rome is not as generous with Traditionalists as it would like us to think.

    Just a few weeks ago Cardinal Castrillon pressured the FSSP ordinands that they need to concelebrate the Novus Ordo, when Canon Law clearly states that no priest should be forced to concelebrate. Heresy and apostasy is rampant in the clergy of the Church and the Vatican is concerned with forcing FSSP priests into the Novus Ordo.

    The pope says that “pro multis” should be correctly translated, the bishops thumb their noses at him in response (my diocese has officially said that they will retain “for all” in spite of the pope) and we don’t know if a correct translation will ever happen, but the Traditionalists are informed two weeks in advance that they need to change their Good Friday Liturgy and it has to happen *immediately*.

    The FSSP is the only order or society in post-VII-times to have their superior general forcefully removed and get installed a new one without an election, when they have been nothing but the most catholic and loyal sons of the Church. Meanwhile the Jesuits elect a Zen-Master and get an OK, the dutch dominicans want “eucharistic celebrations” by laypeople and don’t even get a slap on their hand.

    I want the SSPX to return, and I think they should put their faith in God and not themselves and return, but as much as I would like to, I cannot believe in the good intentions of Rome. I don’t go to the SSPX and am obedient to Rome because I am a Catholic, but not because I trust it. It makes me sad, but that’s how it is.

  41. SARK says:

    Dear Anonymous 3:34

    In my humble opinion, humility is actually not the issue for Bishop Fellay (he actually is a holy priest I believe). The issue is confidence and trust. Until the Holy Father can set out a clear vision of how the Church will address the erroneous interpretations of the VII documents then I don’t think the good Bishop will have the confidence to risk all the FSPX has done to defend tradition. Is the Holy Father really a defender/promotor of Tradition? It’s actually not at all clear yet. At least to me.

    All he would need to do would be to set out clear framework or map of the road back to Catholic Rome and I think Bishop Fellay would then respond positively.

  42. megotoaz says:

    “The parable of the Prodigal Son comes to mind…”

    Where in the world does it begin to make sense to compare the SSPX to the Prodigal son? The NewChurch throws out the traditional liturgy and traditional theology in the pursuit of adapting itself to the world and bringing about a new springtime in the Church while a small group of priest insist on doing things the way they have been done for centuries… and you’re accusing the SSPX of being the ones that need to return to the fold?

    What we’re seeing in the Church today would have happened over 100 years ago had we not had real men on the throne of Peter. If Pope Leo XIII or Pope Saint Pius X were Pope today, do think their solution to problems would be to have meetings and try to reach consensus? Do you think Popes Benedict XV or Pius XI would have changed the Good Friday prayer because the enemies of Christ asked them? It is better to have 200 true and faithful Catholics in the world than 2,000,000,000 lukewarm abominations waiting their turn to be vomited from the mouth of God.

    The Truth is the Truth, it never changes, and it’s our duty to adhere to it even if the Pope himself tries to convince us otherwise.

  43. Brian Walden says:

    SARK, thank you for your candor. But it’s not my impression that the Holy Father is asking Bishop Fellay to jump right into a regular situation with the Church. It seems like the offer was, “Well you want to negotiate, first show that you recognize that I am the Pope and that you will treat me with the basic courtesy required of the Petrine Office.” I think Pope Benedict is just looking for a good faith gesture and then negotiations to make a clear map of the road back to Rome can begin in earnest. All else aside, no Catholic who rejects those 5 conditions can say that they’re truly Catholic in spirit. I worry what the consequences will be if the SSPX refuses.

  44. SARK says:

    Dear vox borealis,

    I am a sanguine and I get emotional and my thinking lacks clarity at times so I do worry about this question on occasions. However, when I sit down in the cold light of day and think about my duties of state towards myself and my family then there is simply no choice but to continue as we have been.

    In the last twenty years we have been through some very tough times and until very recently we have been villified as schismatics (and still are by many) – so in a sense we have become desensitized to the charge of schism.

    I was always taught that the salvation of souls was the highest law of the Church.

    The FSPX is very good at promoting this I think.

    JMJ

  45. Paul Haley says:

    Allow me please to repeat what I have said in essence on another blog. We still do not know what was in the letter from Bishop Fellay back to Cardinal Hoyos. Perhaps he said some really good and constructive things. Shouldn’t we wait for the details before we get all bent out of shape?

    All of what I have seen seems to indicate a hardline approach but I doubt very much that is the approach of Bishop Fellay himself. Remember, when he signs his name on the letter he has a very great responsibility on his shoulders and needs the prayerful support of all of us.

  46. Tom S. says:

    How do we really know what Bishop Fellay’s letter said? It is a personal, private letter between he and the Cardinal. It is reasonable to think that the letter was in fact a positive response, but a qualified one. I believe it is premature to conclude that Bishop Fellay’s response involved his middle finger, as many seem to have done.

    Considering the fact that these points are basically consistent with the SSPX positions historically, a response more along the lines of “yes, but” is most likely. Probably accompanied by a request for clarification of some points. And considering the generosity of the Holy Father, I think that will lead to ultimate success in this matter.

    Perhaps this is naive, but I don’t think this hand has been played out yet. And perhaps this is too conspiritorial, but I have to wonder who leaked the Cardinal’s letter, and why? Could it be to force the issue, knowing that the loudest mouths in the SSPX would immediately start clamoring (as they have), and thereby make any possibility of compromise on Bp. Fellay’s part all but impossible?

  47. megotoaz says:

    How do we really know what Bishop Fellay’s letter said? It is a personal, private letter between he and the Cardinal. It is reasonable to think that the letter was in fact a positive response, but a qualified one. I believe it is premature to conclude that Bishop Fellay’s response involved his middle finger, as many seem to have done.

    Well, if we’re not going to wildly conjecture what the SSPX and Card. Castrillon are saying back and forth then that takes all the fun out of internet forums and blogs. Phooey!

  48. Dominic says:

    Beautiful, Father Z. Thank you.

  49. Paul Murnane says:

    In my humble opinion, humility is actually not the issue for Bishop Fellay (he actually is a holy priest I believe). The issue is confidence and trust. Until the Holy Father can set out a clear vision of how the Church will address the erroneous interpretations of the VII documents then I don’t think the good Bishop will have the confidence to risk all the FSPX has done to defend tradition. Is the Holy Father really a defender/promotor of Tradition? It’s actually not at all clear yet. At least to me.

    All he would need to do would be to set out clear framework or map of the road back to Catholic Rome and I think Bishop Fellay would then respond positively.
    Comment by SARK — 27 June 2008 @ 3:46 pm

    Regarding confidence and trust, it seems to me that is what the 5 conditions are all about. If the SSPX aren’t willing to extend a hand and accept such minimal conditions, how are trust and confidence to be gained?

  50. Cathguy says:

    Sark,

    You make EXCELLENT points regarding Fellay’s position. You also make an excellent point about trust. There is little trust these days. Even just last week I was informed that advocating for the TLM was “extreme” by someone in my Church.

    Despite the new attitude engendered by the Motu Proprio, I too struggle with issues of trust.

    HOWEVER… we are speaking of the Holy Father here. I don’t understand those who think the SSPX should reject the 5 points the Holy Father is offering. The way some are talking, it is as if the Holy Father has demanded that the members of the SSPX start offering Folk music Masses facing the people with liturgical dance.

    He hasn’t! The five points don’t even mention Vatican II! Carefully read, the five points basically call for the sort of obedience of the Pope that ALL Catholics must give. It is impossible to see why they would reject them.

  51. Nancy says:

    I’m curious about a few things.

    I wonder why there is so much anger in these posts at SSPX?

    I’m wondering if a lot of the people angry at SSPX have actually been to the Mass there, or talked to a priest (I have no idea what the workings are at the level of Fellay, but I think SARK is onto something when he/she suggests that maybe there is a reason for Catholics so betrayed as traditional Catholics were to be wary)?

    I’m wondering if any of the angry people know that at each SSPX Mass the pope is prayed for, and that the priests always declare the loyalty of an SSPX chapel to the pope?

    I’m wondering why it is not possible for the SSPX to disapprove of the bad liturgy, bad teaching, bad practice that goes on in so many churches these days, and still be loyal to Rome?

    The priest at my mom’s church (NO) instructed us one Easter Sunday that Jesus “fell and did not rise up again.” He repeated this several times, and then told us that after he died, God the Father “rose him up again.” The language was so tortured it was clear that he meant it just the way it came out. When I turned to my mom in shock, she didn’t understand why I would find that out of order. None of the other folks in the pews showed any reaction. But this sort of event is not unusual. All I could think of was the children in the pews who didn’t know any better… what would they take home from that sermon? Surely not something Catholic.

    Yet when I told a friend how sad I was that I could not find a church to attend that wasn’t full of self-congratulatory preening on the altar, mis-teachings from the “pulpit” (which is usually a microphone in the aisle), and a discouraging at best liturgy, he said, “well it’s not so bad in my church, and after all, we have the cookies.” He was serious! The cookies. This is supposed to be God Almighty, and we are supposed to believe that he is present in the Host.

    Believe me when I tell you, no member of an SSPX chapel would refer to the Holy Sacrament as “the cookies.”

    I left the church in the early 70s when it just ceased overnight to be the Roman Catholic Church I had known and loved. I came back when I found that in an SSPX chapel, I could find all that had been thrown away in the “mainstream.” How can I feel that this is a bad thing? I live a better life, a more grace-filled life, which is something the NO church never gave me. The church I attended in the 70s stopped even having confession on a regular basis!

    I just wish those of you who feel such disdain for the SSPX could see that for most average people, the SSPX isn’t Bishop Fellay. It is the way the Catholic Church was for centuries, with modest and organic changes occurring slowly over the years.

  52. Jeff says:

    You know I’ve been following these positings and haven’t posted my self. I find it interesting that everyone calls the sspx bishops to charity and warming their hearts and then post comments that they have the mouth of satan and are comparable to the pharasies in Our Lord’s time. It seems that this is the way the SSPX have been treated and why a lot of mistrust abounds. Nobody wants schism or excommunication, but something very precious was taken from us after Vatican II and was used against the SSPX for many years as a matter of persecution. Please if you are going to require charity try to submit to your own rules when posting. As Fr. Z has written the SSPX has legitimate arguments. Lets let Bishop Fellay respond and not put words in his mouth. The good bishop is surely intelligent and able enough to speak for himself.

  53. megotoaz says:

    [SARK:] You make EXCELLENT points regarding Fellay’s position. You also make an excellent point about trust. There is little trust these days. Even just last week I was informed that advocating for the TLM was “extreme” by someone in my Church.

    Is that anything like being third-class citizens — behind the Spanish and English Mass communities — at a diocesean parish? Our Latin Mass community has had events (weddings, mainly) bumped by groups higher on the pecking order at the parish (and in at least two cases there wasn’t even an event later in the day that required us to move our events forward in time). Take treatment like this and multiply it across a worldwide fraternity of priests (and four bishops) who are in many places truly hated by priests and bishops of the “in full communion” Church.

    Lest we forget, the FSSP was decapitated by Rome in 2001: the elected superior general was fired by the Ecclesia Dei commission and replaced by one who wouldn’t forbid FSSP priest from saying the new Mass. Seriously: should the SSPX put themselves in that position?

  54. B. says:

    I’m curious about a few things.
    I wonder why there is so much anger in these posts at SSPX?
    [...]

    Of course I can’t speak for other people, but here is what I think:
    There are a lot of people who would like to attend SSPX masses in order to get away from the standard insanity that you have just so aptly described. Yet, because of the situation of the SSPX they cannot in good conscience attend SSPX masses.
    Therefore when the SSPX denies a deal that would not need them to give up anything they feel deprived of their possibility to attend the TLM and hear sound preaching not only by their local hippie clergy but also by the SSPX.
    Therefore it is quite understandable that they get angry.

    If I lived somewhere where there is no FSSP around (which luckily is the case for me), I would be in exactly that situation.

  55. wayne says:

    Fr Z, are these comments about the FSSP having their superior removed true..??
    Did Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos try to “force” preists to say the Novus Ordo..??

  56. megotoaz says:

    There are a lot of people who would like to attend SSPX masses in order to get away from the standard insanity that you have just so aptly described. Yet, because of the situation of the SSPX they cannot in good conscience attend SSPX masses.
    Therefore when the SSPX denies a deal that would not need them to give up anything they feel deprived of their possibility to attend the TLM and hear sound preaching not only by their local hippie clergy but also by the SSPX.

    Has Letter by Msgr. Camille Perl Regarding Society of St. Pius X Masses been overruled? I don’t recall any condition being in that letter that links the “okay-ness” of going to an SSPX with the proximity of a Mass offered by the FSSP, ICRSS, or anyone else. Heck, it’s even allowable to give money at the collection according to that letter. That’s one way of making sure that you’re not giving your money to a parish or diocese that organizes AIDS fundraisers…

  57. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    This Pope unfortunately is going to have earn the trust of the SSPX. I am not saying this is just on the part of the SSPX, I am only saying that it is the reality of the situation. The last pope, JPII, destroyed any trust the SSPX could have in the pope. When Campos came back, the papal theologian immediately started saying how this was a first step. He expected Campos to first start concelebrating at big Masses. This unfortunately happened and a great scandal ensued. Next he said they would need to start saying the New Mass as well as the traditional Mass, and eventually they would only say the New Mass. Also JPII was famous for making promises to people and then backing down when the Curia objected ie Mother Theresa and altar girls. Benedict XVI has so far shown great strength, and I believe he can be trusted, but caving into the Jews on the Good Friday prayer did not help matters, neither did the inopportune statements of the Secretary of State concerning the change in the prayer.

  58. megotoaz says:

    Fr Z, are these comments about the FSSP having their superior removed true..??
    Did Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos try to “force” preists to say the Novus Ordo..??

    At the recent FSSP ordinations in Nebraska, the Cardinal himself apparently stressed in his homily “the need for the priests of the FSSP to say the new Mass and concelebrate.”

  59. Sid Cundiff says:

    If it be true that the SSPX has definitively rejected Rome’s offer, then the period of negotiation might be over – a period during which I had counseled “custody of the tongue” so as not to jeopardize such delicate negotiations. I am quite saddened by today’s development, and for two reasons (and myself perhaps guilty of the very crystal ball gazing about which I have warned):

    1st a personal reason: In my own neck of the woods, I cannot stress enough how Society people have been very forthcoming, welcoming, generous, and helpful with our own local MEFs. These good people, I fear, now might not be joining us. And consequently that might mean for my area, where Catholics are few and traditional Catholics even fewer, we might have fewer MEFs than one might have hoped.

    2nd I fear that the “liberals”, the modernists, and the “spirit of V2″ people might use the Society as a stick to beat the rest of us traditional folk. (“Why, all’y’all are jes lye-ak them Luh-FAY-brights!”).

    With the need for circumspection and mute observance, during sensitive negotiation, perhaps now obviated, I’ll comment during the course of the evening on what now might be the pressing issues: 1) that reading the SSPX’s statements, the issue seems to be catechetical, not liturgical; and 2) the issue of the false dichotomy between “pastoral” and “dogmatic”. But for the moment, now is the time for mourning.

  60. Brian Walden says:

    I wonder why there is so much anger in these posts at SSPX?

    To be honest I haven’t noticed a lot of anger against the SSPX, at least no more than has been exhibited toward the Church (which doesn’t making it right either way). But let’s try to explore why. And just to note, I’m personally not angry at one.

    I’m wondering if a lot of the people angry at SSPX have actually been to the Mass there, or talked to a priest (I have no idea what the workings are at the level of Fellay, but I think SARK is onto something when he/she suggests that maybe there is a reason for Catholics so betrayed as traditional Catholics were to be wary)?

    I think part of the reason people get upset with the SSPX is that good, tradition-loving Catholics get harassed and blamed for all the abuses that go on in the Church. For the most part it’s the crazy liberals who try to make monsters out of the SSPX. For the most part the SSPX mistakenly assumes that all Catholics are like the crazy liberals. Both sides need to put their feelings aside and work for unity against our common enemy – the crazy liberals.

    I’m wondering if any of the angry people know that at each SSPX Mass the pope is prayed for, and that the priests always declare the loyalty of an SSPX chapel to the pope?

    Then why is it such a big deal to accept 5 tiny conditions that any Catholic loyal to the Pope should be able to accept without blinking.

    I’m wondering why it is not possible for the SSPX to disapprove of the bad liturgy, bad teaching, bad practice that goes on in so many churches these days, and still be loyal to Rome?

    Who says this? It’s certainly not in the 5 conditions. The reason so many people will be upset if the SSPX doesn’t respond to these is because we want the SSPX to disapprove of the bad liturgy, bad teaching, bad practice in so many churches. We want you to do it from inside the church so that you can build up the Church from the inside rather than throw stones at her windows from the outside.

    The priest at my mom’s church (NO) instructed us one Easter Sunday that Jesus “fell and did not rise up again.” He repeated this several times, and then told us that after he died, God the Father “rose him up again.” The language was so tortured it was clear that he meant it just the way it came out. When I turned to my mom in shock, she didn’t understand why I would find that out of order. None of the other folks in the pews showed any reaction. But this sort of event is not unusual. All I could think of was the children in the pews who didn’t know any better… what would they take home from that sermon? Surely not something Catholic.

    Yet when I told a friend how sad I was that I could not find a church to attend that wasn’t full of self-congratulatory preening on the altar, mis-teachings from the “pulpit” (which is usually a microphone in the aisle), and a discouraging at best liturgy, he said, “well it’s not so bad in my church, and after all, we have the cookies.” He was serious! The cookies. This is supposed to be God Almighty, and we are supposed to believe that he is present in the Host.

    This is also why people get upset. We’re dying here. We’re doing our best to fix so many abuses, often times despite our bishops. And you’ve left us to be overrun these people who want to destroy the Church. Come back and fight the fight shoulder to shoulder with us.

    Believe me when I tell you, no member of an SSPX chapel would refer to the Holy Sacrament as “the cookies.”

    This is the type of thing both sides need to stop doing. We’re not going to get anywhere if we use the extreme examples on either side to label the whole group.

    I left the church in the early 70s when it just ceased overnight to be the Roman Catholic Church I had known and loved. I came back when I found that in an SSPX chapel, I could find all that had been thrown away in the “mainstream.” How can I feel that this is a bad thing? I live a better life, a more grace-filled life, which is something the NO church never gave me. The church I attended in the 70s stopped even having confession on a regular basis!

    I was born in 1980, my generation was left to the wolves. Our parents weren’t well formed enough to teach us the faith. Our religious education programs were over run with people dedicated to teaching touchy-feely heresy. Our liturgy was abused for the purpose of hiding its true meaning. We didn’t stand a chance and so many of us have been lost because of it. The majority of Catholics don’t have an agenda against the Church – they just don’t know any better. You know the truth, you won’t be deceived by the radical left. Come back for all the souls who are confused now, give them a chance to learn the truth.

    I just wish those of you who feel such disdain for the SSPX could see that for most average people, the SSPX isn’t Bishop Fellay. It is the way the Catholic Church was for centuries, with modest and organic changes occurring slowly over the years.

    But which is the Church that Jesus founded? Unite yourself with Peter, that’s where the Church is. You could be like the heroes who reformed the Church in the past. Where would we have been if the saints of the Counter Reformation had left the church rather than struggle to reform it?

  61. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Megotaoz,

    I believe the Cardinal only said that the new priests should concelebrate the New Mass, not offer the New Mass themselves. But this was a very imprudent statement to make, especially knowing about the letter he was sending the SSPX. The SSPX will never offer the New Mass. However, I do not think that means that in 50 years they will be unwilling to offer an organic reform of the TLM.

  62. I am not Spartacus says:

    Nancy. The Catholic Church is, it seems to me, almost always either purifying or putrefying in its human elements. I think of the Catholic Church in its human element as almost always being in a state of crisis.

    The Ecumenical Councils have always trailed in their wake all manner of heretics, schismatics,apostates, and weird movements. This Post-Ecumenical Council Epoch is not a rarity.

    What was so nettlesome to me, and many of my brothers in our trad study group, was so many of the brightest and best educated amongst us threw-in with the schism abandoning us on the field of battle and we were left with diminished numbers in opposing the radicalism that affected our Diocese.

    We petitioned our Bishop for a meeting. And we had it and promises were made and never kept and those who had thrown-in with the schism mocked us.

    So, we sucked it up, did what we could and still maintained the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority and made extraordinary sacrifices – such as literally driving children to another state for authentic Parochial schooling.

    And when we finally got an Indult approved our former friends called us Indulties and collaborators with the enemy.

    Emotions and long-memories abound in many on both sides of the argument.

    I will not go on to describe what legions of us have done to remain in Communion with the Church but, at long last, those of us who exercised lognanimity are beginning to see a return on our spiritual investment(not that I ever expected to see it do so in my own lifetime) and so the idea the sspx or its supporters have been especially wronged seems to many of us to be an idea far out of touch with reality. It seems to many of us an idea successfully courting insanity.

    I have sincerely and fervently prayed the sspx accept the conditions but it can not go unwritten that for many of us, it has seemed like the SSPX has had its cake and been able to eat it at the same time. For a long time.

    I wish those in the sspx no evil. I am just happy they have been forced to fish or cut bait.

    I do think it time more attention be paid to those traditionalists who never severed one of the Bonds of Unity we all profess to believe in when we stand and say the Creed at Mass…

    I believe in ONE… and that “one” means a Unity of Worship, Doctrine, and Authority.

  63. m.o.p. says:

    wayne ratzinger asked:

    Fr Z, are these comments about the FSSP having their superior removed true..??

    Did Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos try to “force” preists to say the Novus Ordo..??

    The answer to the first question is ‘yes’. Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos removed Fr Josef Bisig as Superior General of the FSSP after his election and imposed Fr Arnaud Devillers as Superior General.

    The answer to the second question is ‘no’: some priests of the FSSP wished to say the Novus Ordo, and Ecclesia Dei ruled that a Superior may not forbid the priests from saying the N.O.

    Google ‘protocol 1411 FSSP’

  64. dcs says:

    Fr Z, are these comments about the FSSP having their superior removed true..??

    Yes, Fr. Bisig was removed in 2000 and replaced with Fr. Arnaud Devillers.

    http://www.unavoce.org/Cardinal_Hoyos_Castrillon_letter.htm

  65. I am not Spartacus says:

    - Spartacus: Can you imagine someone like Bp. Fellay stepping up to the microphone at a meeting of the USCCB during their liturgical or ecumenical dialogue discussions?

    I’d pay money.

    LOL FR, if it were known that Bishop Fellay was going to show-up at a USCCB meeting, not only would EWTN realise record viewing numbers, I think C-SPAN might cover it live :)

  66. boredoftheworld says:

    The application of the parable of the prodigal son is worth considering but I can’t believe how people are missing the obvious question of who the elder son really is. There was more than one son who was out of line in that parable after all and the SSPX can hardly play both roles, as much as some people seem inclined to so cast them.

    Father Z has repeatedly pointed out the need for humility and yet nobody seems to stop clacking the keyboard long enough to wonder if maybe a little humility (and probably a whole lot of silence) on the part of the armchair popes of the world would help.

    I see that Jeff got in before I did with similar thoughts. It’s one thing for the Vicar of Christ to make demands, it’s quite another for everyone who is claiming the title of “more Catholic than (everyone except) the Pope” to run around like pit-yorkies practically (and in some cases literally) demonizing the bishops of the Society. If His Holiness wishes to solemnly excommunicate anyone who’s ever even considered setting foot inside an SSPX chapel then you can all get out the long knives. There’s a wrong way to be right and there seems to be an excessive display of that in the comboxes of the Catholic blogosphere lately.

    Bottom line, if the Pope is going out of his way to make this situation as easy as possible then shouldn’t everyone who claims to be more loyal than the bishops of the SSPX be following his lead?!

  67. megotoaz says:

    There’s a wrong way to be right…

    True, but it doesn’t change that the person in question is right.

    They just need to chill out, have a cold one (we’re Catholics, we’re allowed to act like it at times), pray, read the scriptures, and come back to the polemics after enhancing their calm…

  68. Calleva says:

    Excellent post, Brian Walden. You said it all. boredoftheworld, please read what Brian said. No one here wants to make it ‘harder’ for the bishops of the SSPX to come home to Rome. We have been praying, fasting and sacrificing for them. Speaking for myself, if we achieved unity, I would weep with joy.

  69. Franzjosf says:

    I think that it is important to remember that it is easy to simplify the differences and think that the agree on nothing, which is not true. Most articles of the Catholic Faith are held by both sides.

    1. Doctrinal: As far as I know there are three issues. Ecumenism as currently practiced, religious freedom, collegiality. Wouldn’t many agree that a Pope kissing the Koran is over the top?

    2. Discipline: They feel that Rome is far too permissive in many areas, the Eucharistic fast, for instance, and altar girls, communion in the hand, immodest dress in churches. These are issues with which many Catholics agree, and are free to critizice.

    3. Seminary training: not rigorous enough. Again many would agree and are free to criticize.

    4. Liturgy: The New Mass and all its abuses, that it has too many protestant influences.

    5. That a normal Catholic parish life is unavailable in most places. Again, mamy would agree.

    A couple of years ago, Bishop Fellay gave a press conference down the street from St. Peter’s criticizing ecumenism as currently practice. The Vatican sent people to listen who reported back, “There is no heresy.”

    The differences aren’t quite as simple as some think, nor all-encompassing.

  70. Brian Walden says:

    All 5 points on Franzjosf’s list are issues that Catholics in a regular relationship with the Church are pushing to remedy. There’s no reason why the SSPX can’t fight for their position on those issues from within the Church.

  71. Guadalupe Guard says:

    The difference is that in this current parable the father kicked the sons out because they wanted to preserve the inheritance.

    May these sons be gracious, courageous, and humble enough to come back to their father with the fullness of that inheritance that they have so faithfully preserved

  72. Matt of South Kent says:

    Brian, SSPX can not be in the Church because of all the errors and the Pope is a perfect liberal. And, as Bishop Williamson said the Pope an anti-semite.

    The Society taking any action that would imperil the defense of the Faith.

    Where have you been?

  73. Sacramento Mom says:

    Why is EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo reporting that Bishop Fellay has rejected Pope Benedict’s proposal? I just watched this on World Over Live, while he was announcing all of the current news stories.

  74. Piers-the-Ploughman says:

    The Pope is a liberal pope, compared to others of 60 years ago and more. But that may be a good thing in some ways. Bishop Williamson has an excessive fondness for polemics and hyperbole; that is distinctly unhelpful. The quote to which I believe you are referring does not mean Bishop Williamson thinks the pope is an anti-semite like Archie Bunker is.

    there has been sufficient change in the Church in the last 2-3 years that I believe concrete steps even if just small ones are necessary for SSPX to show its willingness to eventually integrate itself back into a regular canonical status. The public polemics always problematic should have essentially stopped with Summorum Pontificum.

  75. Andy says:

    The more I read those threads about SSPX the more I feel this has become a mess only God can sort out. SSPX faithful and bishops have some (many) valid arguments and have historical reasons to mistrust Roman curia (what happened with FSSP is indeed a problem). Someone made a very good point that the Church is far from “resuming normal service”.

    The irony of the situation, though, is that Church would be far more likely to “resume normal service” with them being in than being out. The Church badly needs restoring basic clarity – what is good and what is wrong, what is catholic and what is not, what it stands for and what it condemns.

    Lots of prayer needed.

  76. Jim Capaldi says:

    Father Z,

    Beaautiful commentary, full of respect and charity. If only you were the negotiator for Rome, I think that this matter would be resolved very quickly.

  77. Julie says:

    Thanks, Fr. Z, for sharing your knowledge and helping people like me make sense of some tense moments in the life of the Church. Your measured, cheerful attitude is a fine example to everyone.

    You have especially helped me keep a sense of hope during this dramatic week of sign and counter-sign.
    Our prayers and sacrifices for re-union and reconciliation will not be in vain, though we may have to wait a little longer until God answers them.

    (That’s really alright since Fr. Z will help keep us informed and entertained in the meantime!)

  78. Maynardus says:

    Fr. Z:

    Re: Bp. Fellay stepping up to the microphone at a meeting of the USCCB…”

    On this we think alike: I’ve always wondered what would happen if the Holy Father called their bluff and announced that the excommunications against the S.S.P.X. bishops were lifted and “in light of their numerous promises of obedience their new assignments are…”

    To see “Archbishop-elect Williamson” of Los Angeles (or Boston) addressing the clergy or the diocesan synod would indeed be worth the price of admission!

  79. Andy says:

    Maynardus, I’d love to see that to. :)

  80. Matt says:

    We all want unity, well except perhaps Williamson.

    However, I think it is fair to assess a major misstep of the Holy Father this past year in changing the ancient Good Friday prayer (one of the oldest, if not the oldest prayer in the liturgy).

    This was taken as yet another example of Rome not being able to keep its hand out of the cookie jar. Here, with less then six months from the TLM being freed, we already have changes (again not motivated for any real need or good of the faithful, but purely political)! Worse, Cardinal Castrillon hints that this is just the beginning!

    Many Traditionalists, including Fellay, saw this as another slippery slopt opening up. What is the point of adopting the Church’s liturgy again, if it only leads to a repeat of the Novus Ordo banalization?

    What is the real point of the Moto Proprio? I think the jury remains out on this regard. Is is to safegaurd the ancient liturgy, or to use it as a pretext to create another New Mass? [If you read this blog a little longer, you will see that it is part of a much larger plan. - Fr. Z]

    This, I think, is a major consideration and a warning sign for Fellay and all friends of Tradition.

  81. wayne says:

    So they reject the five proposals. What next.?? do we summon Vatican 3. In the era we live in now with everybody having almost instant access to “information”. How are we ever going to get a clear veiw on anything..??. Even if they were to just re-read Vatican 2 could we even begin to imagine the in fighting as every coma and full stop would be grappled over.

  82. Caecilia says:

    Bishop Fellay has granted an interview to the Swiss Italian Radio (in italian obviously). Anyone interested can find it by clicking on the ‘sabato 28 giugno 2008, ore 12:30′ edition of the news on this page

    http://www.rtsi.ch/informazione/welcome.cfm?idChannel=2330&idModule=2735

    It starts after about 16 minutes 30.

    (Sorry for being unable to create a direct link,I’m a bit of an internet Neanderthal)

  83. Syriacus says:

    The link to the RealAudio file of the Fellay Interview is:

    http://real.xobix.ch/ramgen/rsi/rg/2008/rg_12_06282008.rm

  84. Caecilia says:

    Thank you Syriacus

  85. wayne ratzinger says:

    any body got a translation..??

  86. Cornelio says:

    A translation of the more significant passages from the Fellay interview is now up at Rorate Caeli:

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2008/06/fellay-i-have-already-written-response.html

  87. wayne ratzinger says:

    lightening answers:


    [17:45][Fellay:] Perhaps it is false to say, in such a way, directly, that I reject, that I propose a total rejection [of the conditions], that is not true. Rather, I see in this ultimatum a very vague, confused thing. But, in fact, I have already written a response and we will see how Rome will react.

    From Rorate Caeli….I hope I’m not breaking any laws pasting this..!!

    [18:53] [Fellay:] For me, this ultimatum has no sense, because we have relations with Rome which go forward in a certain speed, which is truly slow. And it is true, on the other hand, that both the Cardinal [Castrillón Hoyos] and the Holy Father would wish for a rather accelerated speed. For me, the only meaning of this ultimatum is the expression of this desire of Rome to give it a little bit of hastiness. And for me it is not a reconsideration of all our relations.

    [Interviewer:] “Then, you expect to continue in the dialogue, still?”

    [Fellay:] Yes, yes, it is possible that there will now be a time of more, of coolness, but, frankly, for me, it is not over, no.

  88. wayne ratzinger says:

    I’m breathing slightly easier. Maybe the Laity should put its foot on the ACCELERATOR.

  89. anonymous in Michigan says:

    It is just amazing how so many of us in this age of the internet jump to wild conclusions, castigating the SSPX, before all the facts are even in! Alas, such are the times, when we, full of impatience, desire immediate gratification.

  90. Fr. Angel says:

    I agree that we need to speak much more charitably about the SSPX. In spite of this latest setback, they are still doing wonderful work in their Masses, sacraments, catechesis, publications, conversions, and efforts to call the rest of the Church back to faithfulness. Their work will continue–let us praise God for that. The Holy Father, I am sure, will continue to try to make conditions in the Church amenable to their return. Let us praise God for that also. And let us all make clear to the SSPX priests and faithful that when they engage in full reconciliation, they will be welcomed and aided in their efforts.

    I agree with those posters who speak of decades of abuse and scorn being heaped upon the SSPX simply because they wanted the EF offered with traditional preaching and catechesis. Being a priest immersed in the Novus Ordo, post-Vatican II reality, I ask, “who are we kidding?” I see their (SSPX) bishops’ preaching and their internet commentaries about the Church and I feel a searing and hurtful sadness. But then I quickly remind myself that the truth hurts. This is exactly how they must feel when they see the sad and sorry state of our theology and liturgy, even after all of Pope Benedict’s initiatives. And let’s be honest about something else–they are still looked at like blacks in the Jim Crow South (no disrespect meant to our fine southernerns here) in the minds of millions of laity and thousands of priests in the “Novus Ordo Church.”

    I know–they shouldn’t be so prideful…they should realize how much will change when they join us…the Holy Father would never betray their trust, etc. etc. I think more work needs to be done within our Church and more work needs to be done within their Society before a transition back can really go anywhere near “smooth.” In the meantime, the best apologetic in front of the Society is our charity, our continued restoration of all things traditionally Catholic, and our firm resolution to toil without ceasing until the day comes when they are sincerely received as brothers.

  91. Guadalupe Guard says:

    In this current parable the father who was intent on squandering his patrimony kicked the sons out because they wanted to preserve the patrimony, the inheritance.

    May these sons be gracious and courageous enough to come back to their father with the fullness of that inheritance that they have so faithfully preserved, even though they know they will suffer from their other brethren (as evidenced by some of the posts herein).