The SSPX in the USA has a monthly newsletter. This month the US District Superior comments on the lifting of the excommunications on the SSPX bishops.
Let’s have a look with me emphases and comments.
Letter to Friends & Benefactors [Note the title]
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
The past few weeks have been full of news concerning the Society of St. Pius X.
You have surely read the letter that His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay wrote to the faithful regarding the lifting of the excommunications by Rome.
You must also have heard of the huge anti-Catholic campaign that the press has orchestrated in Europe at first, then in America and now throughout the world.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, indeed, has released the so-called excommunications ["so-called"... right. This is an interesting attitude to display to the world right now. I wonder if this is the official position of the SSPX regarding the excommunications.] from the Episcopal Consecrations of 1988. That is the important fact. We would expect the Society of Saint Pius X to be attacked on its specificity — the defense of the traditions of the Catholic Church, the Latin Tridentine Mass, of course, but also and mostly the resistance that we have always shown to the Second Vatican Council. We would expect that we would be criticized and confronted on our opposition to Religious Liberty, [the biggest problem] or ecumenism and the like.
But no, it is easier as the proverb says, “Lie, lie, something always will remain”; [This is a common technique of liberals: say anything, no matter how outrageous. Go ahead and take it back or back off the position later with explanations. In the meantime, you have probably bumped the needle a degree in the direction you hope one day you can force to be the new true North.] we are harassed with false accusations of anti-Semitism. We have never been, and will never be anti-Semite, simply because of the New Testament Law, which is a law of Charity.
It is obviously manifest that behind this media operation, the aim is to discredit the Society of St. Pius X, but also and even primarily the Catholic Church and the pope himself. It is a press campaign to disrepute ["to disrepute" You don't see that as a verb very often.] anything Catholic and whatsoever is done, even if only slightly, in favor of Catholic Tradition.
Under this pressure, on February 2nd, the Vatican Secretary of State has stated that despite the release of the excommunications of our four bishops, the Society of St. Pius X has no canonical status (according to them). [ummm... yah... well.... I guess it is the Holy See's view that counts.] It was then made clear that for future recognition of the Society of St. Pius X, a full acceptance of the Second Vatican Council will be absolutely indispensable. [But we don't know what that really means yet. I wouldn't get overly worked up by it.]
We are grateful to the pope for the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007. We have always expressed our gratitude to His Holiness. [Not much obedience, but... we know that part already.] We are now also thankful for the release of the excommunications; we see these decisions as courageous and good signs. We have no fear in acknowledging that, no fear to convey our appreciation. [for heaven's sake] As we have already stated, we hope that the motu proprio as well as the new decree will help to clear, in the eyes of many, the invalid condemnation of Catholic Tradition.
At the same time, we reaffirm what we have always said. We refuse to acknowledge the validity of the excommunications of 1988. [There it is.] We state repeatedly that the consecration of the four bishops by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was not illegitimate. On the contrary, we are more convinced than ever, that it was an absolute necessity to maintain the Tridentine Mass and to save Catholic Tradition. It was a meritorious and heroic act for the defense and safeguard of Catholic Doctrine and Liturgy. [Remember for whom this was written.]
Today, we express our gratitude and faithfulness to the positions and decisions of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. We declare our thankfulness also to the four bishops for accepting their episcopal consecrations, and for continuing to ordain true priests [as opposed tooooo.... ] during the past two decades in order to, and only to, preserve Catholic Tradition.
We also reaffirm that the Second Vatican Council has broken away from the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church; in particular, but not exclusively, in the declaration Dignitatis Humanae on Religious Liberty, the constitution Lumen Gentium and the decree Nostra Aetate on ecumenism.
For years, we have asked for discussions about these doctrinal questions, for in conscience we cannot accept teachings contrary to what the Church has always taught. The only answer we receive has always been, “accept the Council!” When will the time come that we can start these essential and indispensable talks? This is certainly what we respectfully, but steadily plead for to Rome. [That is entirely FAIR. I add my voice to this. Let the talks begin!]
During these days of confusion, I exhort you to remain faithfully united. [united in.... ? What exactly?] The devil always tries to divide, to inspire some fear that “the Society of St. Pius X is giving up” or on the contrary, “the Society is getting too hard…” [Again... they have a base they must maintain in order to survive.]
Unity in prayer and in doctrine is the only answer; [and unity with Peter....] the recent effect of offering to Our Lady so many rosaries is proof of that. Let not any attempted division undermine us;
But let us have confidence in Divine Providence, and in the graces which our Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay receives to lead us in this time of crisis.
May God bless you.
In the Immaculate Heart,
Fr. Arnaud Rostand
The letter is touchy. I don’t think it is actually overly paranoid. Henry Kissenger famously quipped that even paranoids have enemies. The SSPX has enemies, for sure.
The SSPX leadership would do very well to SHUT UP about insisting that the excomm’s were not valid, or never took place, yadda yadda. They would do very well do SHUT UP about how wonderful it was to violate the expressed will of the Vicar of Christ in the 1988 ordinations.
Instead, they should keep up a steady postive drum beat about TALKS TALKS TALKS… SOON SOON SOON.
That is something I think all people of good will can back and yearn for.
I’ll keep the combox closed on this to avoid all the knuckle-head stuff sure to be dumped in here without traces of an ability to self-edit.
I will take well-written, well-considered e-mail and post what is worthwhile.