The Transalpine Redemptorists Declaration on Relations with Rome

Here is the Declaration on Relations with Rome issued by the traditional group called the Transapline Redemptorists.  My emphases and comments:

On Relations with Rome

Made In Honour of
Our Lady of Good Counsel
April 2008

We hold firmly with all our heart and with all our mind to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to the maintenance of this faith, to the eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth.

We refuse on the other hand, and have always refused, to follow the Rome of Neo-Modernist and Neo-Protestant tendencies, which became clearly manifest during the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council, in reforms which issued from it.

That is why, without any rebellion, bitterness, or resentment, we pursue our work of the sanctification of souls in the spirit of Saint Alphonsus under the guidance of the never-changing Magisterium, convinced as we are that we cannot possibly render a greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to posterity.

That is why we hold firmly to everything that has been consistently taught and practiced by the Church (and codified in books published before the Modernist influence of the Council) concerning faith, morals, divine worship, catechetics, priestly formation, and the institution of the Church.

But now we must ask ourselves if a glimmer of light has not begun to show through the clouds of confusion that for many years have darkened the sky of eternal Rome. [poetic] For we now have a Pontiff, a successor of Peter, ready to allow us to adhere fully to this timeless tradition of the Church and its complete expression in Catholic life without apparent compromise. He seems ready to "let us do the experiment of Tradition" as Archbishop Lefebvre asked so many years ago.

This glimmer of light has manifested itself above all in recent months in the courage with which the successor of Peter stood up against opposition from many quarters in promulgating his letter motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum". [So, the MP is exerting another kind of gravitational pull.] As far as Roman diplomacy could allow, the Supreme Pontiff declared the vindication of all those who for years had been fighting to keep the traditional Mass, since "it was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, always permitted."1 Moreover, Article 3 of Summorum Pontificum foresees the erection of communities like our own that would "permanently" use the Missal of 1962 – it is an invitation to be in recognised communion with the Holy Father while remaining simply as we are. [Probably.]

If, however, Benedict XVI has shown himself ready to allow the "experiment of Tradition" to be done in communion with him and with his blessing, what are we to make of the storm of abuses and confusion that reigns in the universal Church? [A good question.]

If these troubled waters [We have moved from storm imagery, which obscures light, to the effects of the storm, which are high seas and dangerous water.] are the very setting for the most important Papal motu proprio letter of the past years, then this document ought to be understood as a call for change. These forty years of crisis, the empty convents, the abandoned presbyteries, the empty churches and the sad state of Catholic education has finally awakened the realisation at the highest level of the Church that we are in a period of crisis. This realisation has produced a visible change in the will of Rome: no longer are the orientations of the 1960’s and 70’s to be imposed with the uncaring absolutism [That’s for sure!] of "that period with all its hopes and its confusion." Rome is ready to admit that "omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of the blame…" Rome is ready to ask pardon [Well… that might be overstating what is going on just a little, but okay.] for the "arbitrary deformations of the liturgy (that) caused deep pain…"2

Will we require more than one apology? The Pope wishes to see traditional Catholic life flourish once again in the bosom of the Church, and he has given approval to all the means that will allow this to happen: not only the Mass, but the sacraments, the ritual, the breviary, etc. But it is the Holy Ghost that is at work, [We also sincerely pray that that is the case and I think we can be confident that it is.] guiding the successor of Peter even beyond what he himself may intend, [Hmm… here is where they sound just a little snootier than perhaps they ought to be.] for it will be through the restoration in practice of the traditional life of the Church that will be asphyxiated slowly but surely the modernist theological poison that still circulates in the bloodstream of the Church. [They have shifted metaphors.]

Henceforth, the combat for the Faith finds itself on an extended front: we are called to play a humble part [though the tone of this declaration doesn’t sound especially humble, in my opinion, if these guys are ready to roll up their sleeves and work, then I welcome them, rejoice and point to them as great examples!] in the revival of traditional Catholic practice in the universal Church for a new generation that no longer cares for the novelties of the Second Vatican Council, [good insight] but thirsts for the solid Catholicism that is inseparably joined with the Mass of all time. [I think, to be fair, they are also thirsting for Catholicism that is joined also to the Novus Ordo.  Many young people are fervent Catholics even though they have never attended a TLM.] This is the way the Church has arisen phoenix-like [another metaphor shift] from all challenges she has faced in the past: by a resurgence of life in traditional Catholic practice, the doctrinal aberrations that caused decadence are shown [They just can’t resist the polemic language, it seems.] for what they are. These are arguments that all can understand: not the intricate subtleties of the modernist mind, but the new spring shoots of the tree whence comes life[another metaphor]

The ambiguities of the Second Vatican Council remain to be clarified, this is certain. [without question] But far from denying the bi-millennial tradition of the Church, the Roman authorities seem ever more acutely aware of the need to reconcile the Second Vatican Council with tradition. How exactly to do so remains the poignant question of our day. [YES!] It is a question that will not be solved easily nor soon – this we can gather from the manner in which the Church has dealt with problematic declarations of councils in the past. But another lesson from these past problems is that false doctrines die out over time, [They seem to have moved from "ambiguity" to "false doctrine".  As I read it, they are not directly saying that the teachings of the Council are "false doctrines".  They are merely saying that history shows that "false doctrine" die off over time.] as their fruits are sterile. The Holy Ghost will show where the truth lies, because it is He who guides and gives life. Hence, it is sufficient for us to ask what Archbishop Lefebvre asked: Laissez-nous faire l’expérience de la tradition, ("let us do the experiment of Tradition") and for the rest, the answer shall soon be clear, for by their fruits we shall know them.

Can ambiguities and the confusion and false interpretations [This is better: ambiguities and false interpretations.  Very good.] to which they give rise be the justification to stop us from accepting visible communion with Rome? [This is the BIG QUESTION!] As long as interpretations in contradiction to the tradition of the Church are not imposed upon us, these problems do not have to be an obstacle to union. [I wonder what those would be.  About the only thing that comes to mind might be the issue of religious liberty, but I cannot see how that would be something that could be "imposed".  Nor, do I think, could, or would, a specific interpretation of the Council on religious libery be "imposed".  So, maybe this statement is just a tad too defensive?  I am not privy to the discussions they have been involved with.] We must simply remain free to preach the perennial doctrines of the Church, while trying to reconcile what can be reconciled "in a positive line of study and communication with the Holy See."3

Ah, but could not these offers from Rome be a "trap"?
[So many on the traditionalist side see bad will in all that Rome does, so this is a fair question to raise, considering the visibility of this groups actions.] In answering this, we ought to reflect upon the extent of the liturgical reform granted and willed by the Pope. He reintroduced not only the Mass, but also the sacraments, the ritual, the pontifical, the breviary, etc. If all this were only a scheme to trick the traditionalist communities, this extension would be very dangerous for the progressivists and would ultimately run contrary to their intentions, for it makes possible the return of the entire mindset and life associated with the traditional Mass. We cannot believe that it is a trick, but a sincere attempt on the part of the Sovereign Pontiff to aright a wrong and to remedy the situation of the Church. [good!]

Given this situation where we have at least the appearance of Rome’s willingness to accept us as we are, there are certain matters of Faith that will not allow us to remain inactive. It is a fundamental principle of the Church and of the Faith that in the person of the successor of Peter is to be found the lasting principle and the visible foundation of the double unity of Faith and communion.4 It is "in his person" that this unity is found, not in the Vatican bureaucracy. This is why we feel particularly touched by the personal intervention of the Pope in our favor. [!]

Also, there is the visibility of the Church that urges us. During these long years of crisis our position – we feel – has not harmed the visibility of the Church [One might argue that their separation weakened those who tried to stay in clearer unity.  But be that as it may, that is hopefully in the past.  The present and future need our focus.] because there were visible problems to account for the apparent visible break in unity. We in tradition were the object of visible injustice and of visible abuses of power. [Yes, sure.  But I myself, and many others I know, have also been terribly mistreated by those in power and yet did not separate from clear unity, though sometimes in very dark hours that seemed a viable thing to do.] But now that the successor of Peter has diplomatically apologised and has extended his hands to us, welcoming us simply as we are, what further visible justification will we find to refuse communion with him? We cannot expect him to solve all of the problems in the Church first, [right!] for the Pontiff sadly finds himself deprived of much of the control we would have associated with the Pontiffs of ages past. He rules now more by diplomacy than by monarchical authority. Nor can we ask the Pontiff to change the course of the bark of Peter too rapidly – a rapid movement of the rudder could sweep even more souls off the ship’s deck and into the sea. And after all, this is his prudential judgment to make, not ours.  [This is a point many traditional type forget.  They want the Pope to impose, command, micro-manage.  They don’t take into account that in order to reform or implement a plan, you have to have people to do it for you.  Attempting something and failing can produces horrific setbacks and make the situation een worse.  This is why Summorum Pontificum was an amazing event in the life of the Church: against strong opposition Pope Benedict promulgated it because a) it was the right thing to do, b) he judged that the time was right c) there were just enough people in key places to make this work and d) skipping a generation, younger people were not burdened with spirit of V2 baggage.]

Can we choose to remain where we are under these circumstances? We have argued for years now of our "state of necessity" and of the resulting supplied jurisdiction that the Church supplies to us. [Which I consider to be a very bad position to argue from, but … this is not my declaration.] But can we continue to argue this when ordinary jurisdiction is offered to us without any compromise in the Faith? Can we choose freely to remain in this irregular canonical situation where we are? In other words, can a state of necessity be the object of a choice without moral fault? Clearly not And on the other hand: are the authorities ready to accord us regular faculties? If the answer to this second question is affirmative, then we are no longer in the same case of necessity[This is a major step in the right direction.  I really admire this.]

All these serious considerations, dear friends, move us to go and see what Rome has to say. Let not our contacts with Rome be understood as meaning that we will break off our friendship with the Society of Saint Pius X and the other traditionalist organisations around the world. On the contrary, we positively want with all our hearts to remain in contact, sharing all that we may learn with Bishop Fellay and the other heads of traditional orders for the good of tradition as a whole[Excellent! These are men after my own heart.  They don’t want to cut their ties, but they want a regular situation in manifest union with the Pontiff.  Again, my admiration increases.]

Only time will tell if the moment has come for an agreement with Rome. Prudence requires of us to proceed slowly and cautiously, reflecting well at each step of the discussions. In this, we will rely on the continued support and advice of our traditionalist friends. Our agreement must be founded upon the fundamental principles of the Church and the safeguarding of the Faith.

While asking for your prayers for this matter, we place ourselves under the patronage and protection of our Mother of Perpetual Succour, She ‘who by Herself has crushed all the heresies in the whole world’ qui cunctas haereses interemit. May She, whom St Alphonsus ever invoked as the Mother of Good Counsel, teach us to be "wise as serpents and simple as doves"5, while showing us how to "generously open our hearts to make room for everything that the Faith itself allows."6

In the octave of Our Lady of Good Counsel
28 April, 2008

Fr Michael Mary, C.SS.R.
Fr Anthony Mary, C.SS.R.

1 Benedict XVI, Letter accompanying the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum
2 ibid
3 Archbishop Lefebvre, Protocol of May 5th, 1988
4 Vatican Council I, Pastor Aeternus, DS. 3051
5 Matt 10:16
6 Benedict XVI, op. cit.

Very impressive, folks. 

There were passages in the declaration where perhaps the tone was a little high handed.  However, they have an rather special audience and they know that audience well.  They have to tailor this to their readers, which include that traditionalist audience as well as certain key readers in the roman Curia… and blogosphere.

All these readers, Curia and traditionalist communites alike would do very well to pay attention to the conservative Catholic press and especially the blogosphere, which could play an important role in this.

I met some of these men in Rome when they came to stay in our house last year. I was impressed then by their friendly and open conversation (once they figured our I was not an enemy).  I am positively impressed now by their position and the willingness to express it publicly.

I repeat my sense of admiration for what these men are willing to undertake and I pray, and ask you all to pray, for a positive outcome.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. John says:

    This is great news. Is it possible that they are acting not only for their group but with the tacit approval and in concert with the SSPX leadership?

  2. Kradcliffe says:

    I have been rooting for these guys since the Good Friday prayers. I hope that they will be a very visible example of reconciliation. I hope they make it easier for others to regularize their position.

  3. dominic1962 says:

    This is the kind of “ecumenism” I like to see. No photo ops, no vague and largely meaningless statements of basic understanding, etc. They are showing that they are willing to take the Pope up on his offer and see it as a genuine good will gesture. Something will probably actually come of this.

  4. I think, with some goodwill, and a lot of prayer, this is going forward to a canonical regularisation.

    I would say Bishop Fellay, who has to steer a ship very much bigger than, and very different from, the ship steered by Fr.Michael Mary, knows well what is going on. I think he will be wishing them well. We certainly should be.

  5. Jonathan Bennett says:

    I do not think this is being done with the approval of the SSPX. I heard rumor that the Transapline Redemptorists have pulled their seminarians from the SSPX seminary in Australia after recieving some harsh words from the rector there.

  6. Mark Jacobson says:

    Even if not done with the approval of the SSPX, they are speaking and acting as representatives of the SSPX, due to their association with them, and their move could definitely inspire others within the SSPX, perhaps even the leadership… we can only wait and pray. Exspectans exspectavi…

  7. David says:

    How much of this is a response to Bishop Felley’s letter of last week?

  8. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf:

    In this case, I crave your indulgence to make a long post on this. I have been contributing to questions like this one for years, especially prior to the granting of the Campos structure. Here is a reaction I made last evening to another blog. It remains posted there.

    Since I have been making this exact argument of these Redemptorists now for the past eight years on the Internet, I obviously cannot disagree in principle. I am overjoyed!

    However, I notice that the superior quite rightly used the expression “ordinary jurisdiction”. This is what is needed and what was offered to the S.S.P.X internationally in 2000 and actually granted to the Campos in 2002 (for however small a territory).

    This is what is needed. Anything less will not do. I have a request for these Transalpine Redemptorists: do not simply ask for something for yourselves. In the spirit of charity, ask for an international archdiocese ‘ad personam’ in which all traditional societies and orders could choose to work (but they could also opt to work under local bishops in particular places and circumstances). This structure would be directly subject to the Pope and might be excluded from those countries which have signed concordats with Rome that would preclude the possibility (but with the ability to add them in those countries when possible). It might also be excluded from the Vatican City State, China, and a few hot spots, like my favourite country, North Korea (headed by that guy with the hair).

    The Redemptorists could accept a society of apostolic life which would work under this international archdiocese. The archdiocese can exist ‘ad personam’ (not the term used canonically) under Canon 372.2. The part about approval from episcopal conferences there would be waived by Rome on the grounds that it concerns several of them. The bishop or archbishop of this structure, the ‘Archdiocese of St. Gregory the Great’, would be chosen by the Pope. The structure would have its own cathedral (perhaps at Trento!) and would be able to incardinate diocesan priests and erect parishes and missions, like any diocese. The 1962 Liturgy would be its normative liturgy. It would also be able to reconcile independent chapels around the world.

    Now, as regards traditionalist societies of apostolic life and institutes of consecrated life, they would continue to incardinate their own priests and have their own proper liturgies (e.g the Redemptorists also use the Byzantine Liturgy). In particular places and circumstances, they could work under the auspices of the new international archbishop (but only to offer the 1962 Latin liturgy); in others, where more convenient, they could work under the local ordinary. In the case of the Transalpine Redemptorists, they could also work under Eastern-Rite local ordinaries, or even under the local Byzantine ordinary to offer the Byzantine Divine Liturgy and either the local Roman ordinary or the new Archdiocese of St. Gregory to offer the other. So it would be very flexible.

    Because this new archdiocese would not belong to any episcopal conference, it would establish its own holydays of obligation and set its own fasting laws. Its subjects would be those laics who are registered in one of its chapels. They would need to have a domicile within the territory of the local see where that chapel was situated (in order to put some limitation on membership). This would count for conferring the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Matrimony, and Holy Orders, and for burial rights. For the other Sacraments, of course, any faithful could repair to any priest having faculties where he lived. The existence of a chapel or church or mission of the international Archdiocese in the territory of any Latin diocese would enable its priests to have faculties in that same territory. So there would be a connexion between this new structure and the local sees of the Latin Church (since the new Archdiocese of St. Gregory would be a Latin structure).

    Please suggest all this to Rome. Whatever you do, don’t take anything less than an ordinary structure, either for your own group or more generally. But the latter is better!

    Note that, once established, the S.S.P.X could then elect to work under it–or so could break-away groups from the S.S.P.X, groups such as the Institute of the Good Shepherd.

    In other words, since the S.S.P.X refuses to take a structure and accept regularisation, Rome could grant an international structure for all those who *will* take it. The Pope could outflank the S.S.P.X bishops. This might force them in. Outside such a structure, could there be anything but decline?

    Peter Karl T. Perkins
    Victoria, B.C.,
    Dominion of Canada

  9. Matt Q says:

    I read this on their website yesterday and was impressed with their clear and straightgforward presentation of their case. It was well thought out and without any disconnect. While the language was humble they stood firm in their case. Whomever actually wrote that letter is an articulate and lettered individual.

    We do pray for the best outcome for their circumstances. This would be not only in their best interests but ours the Church as well. We need solid, Roman Catholic houses such as these men for they are the scattered bricks which will help rebuild the Church.

  10. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I have one more long post on this subject, written early this morning. It deals with some legal considerations with a new international structure for tradition. After this, I will keep it shorter and would be pleased to respond to individual bloggers’ questions about this subject. I am hoping that others might do the same: I will probably not have all the answers, but keep in mind that the Campos structure is a precedent along these lines, and even Msgr. Perl said as much on one occasion two years ago.

    I don’t think that there has been a state of necessity for the S.S.P.X since 2000 except insofar as their condition justifies a continued rightful disobedience *pending* negotiations to reconcile with Rome. In other words, they have the obligation not only to go to Rome but to run to Rome in order to conclude an arrangement.

    The case of the Transalpine Redemptorists is slightly different, since they may have been under the impression, in the past, that the S.S.P.X was in the process of doing this. But their action now is exactly right.

    However, they should not conclude an arrangement unless they are offered a ‘personal’ diocese or its equivalent, which is international and exempt. This is essentially what has been offered to the S.S.P.X since 2000. If Rome deems that these Redemptorists are too few in number to justify such a structure–and that would be reasonable–they shoud ask for one which would include them but embrace others. This is what I have been advocating. It would be, say, an exempt international ‘personal’ archdiocese, headed by a prelate chosen by the Pope. It would be able to incardinate its own clerics, establish parishes and missions, and reconcile independent chapels; and its normative liturgy would be that of 1962.

    To say that it is exempt means that it would be directly subject to the Holy See and not part of any ecclesiastical province.

    To say that it is international means that it exists in many countries but not necessarily all. In some countries, concordats signed by the Holy See and various countries would exclude it, at least for a time.

    To say that it is ‘personal’ means that, like the Campos structure, its subjects are those who are registered in one of its parishes or missions. I would put a restriction on this in order to respect the rightful concerns of local bishops. A parish of the structure could not be larger than the local diocese in the territory in which it is situated (or, perhaps, larger than any two local dioceses), and only parishes could register subjects. Missions could exist on other bases but could not register subjects. To create a parish, the new structure would have to offer Mass on an every-Sunday basis for three consecutive months, and it would cease being a parish (reverting to a mission) if it failed to offer a certain number of Sunday Masses (e.g. 10) over any three-month period AND if the local bishop claimed jurisdiction because of this. Reversion to mission status would mean that those registered in that parish would also revert to being subjects of the local bishop.

    Subjects of the structure would receive Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, and Holy Orders under its auspices (also, burial rights). Anyone could receive the other Sacraments from its priests, who would have faculties in the parishes or missions to which they were attached.

    A so-called ‘personal’ structure like this can be erected under Canon 372.2, but I think that there must be a restriction to registration of laics in a local parish of the structure; otherwise, the entire thing could become unpractical.

    To say that it would be an archdiocese would mean that it is completely independent of all other dioceses. It would be a proper see, rather than a a local see.

    It could have a proper calendar and its own holydays of obligation and fasting laws. It could also forbid Communion standing and in manu (except insofar as this is necessarily for medical reasons).

    The various societies of apostolic life and institutes of consecrated life (especially traditionalist societies and institutes) would have the freedom to work under its auspices at any particular place, but they would retain the right to work under the auspices of the local ordinaries as well. Those societies which use both Eastern Divine liturgies and the T.L.M. would have the freedom to seek faculties for their different liturgies from different ordinaries. The local Roman bishops would be able to grant a rite to use a Roman Rite which, according to Rome, includes the ‘extraordinary form’. The new international structure would be restricted so that it can only grant a ‘privilege’ to use the so-called extraordinary form in public worship. This would not remove any priest’s right to celebrate according to the N.O.M., but only restrict public celebrations (regularly-scheduled) of the N.O.M. in cases in which a priest is working only under the auspices of the new structure.

    We need our own international diocese or its equivalent (e.g. an apostolic administration or archdiocese). Without this, the P.C.E.D. will keep chipping away at our Mass and forcing us into NewMass practices.

    I’d call the new structure The Archdiocese of St. Gregory the Great.


  11. Matt Q says:

    Peter Perkins:

    In re your above post, it is prayed and hoped for the full regularization of the Transalpine Redemptorists and the granting of the structure you outlined or whichever is most beneficial to them and for the sake of continuity of Tradition in this Church.

    Whatever the charity of the Pope may be, it is to be feared his Loyal ( oxymoronic ) Opposition will derail his efforts. We still have yet to see any teeth to Summorum Pontificum let alone regularization of a entire community with international archdiocesan right. We continue to pray nonetheless. ;)

  12. Patrick says:


    What would happen if this “personal archdiocese” wanted to open a parish in the midst of other parishes and against the wishes of a local ordinary?

    And what on earth is newmass?

  13. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Since others are, yet again, bringing up this Good Friday prayers issue (in which I was and remain against the position of the Transalpine Redemptorists), I think that I might comment on it here.

    The new structure which I am suggesting, this personal ‘Archdiocese of St. Gregory the Great’, headed by a prelate chosen by the Pope, would no doubt use the 1962 Missal as revised by the Pope on this Good Friday issue. That is inevitable. I don’t like it but that’s too bad for me. However, this would only bind the priests incardinated in the new structure itself. As for the priests incardinated in the various traditionalist societies and institutes which might choose to work under the auspices of this new archdiocese entirely or in part, each of them will have its own statutes and Rome will have proper laws binding them. Hence it would be possible for a reconciled S.S.P.X to work under this new structure and yet keep the pre-1955 Holy Week liturgies. Yet again, the arrangements ensure flexibility.

    In the case of independent chapels being reconciled to Rome through this new proposed structure, I am assuming that they would have the revised Good Friday prayers imposed on them, since their priests would normally become diocesan priests in the new structure. Technically, there could be exceptions, but those would cease when the priests involved died or retired.

    In the case of the Transalpine Redemptorists, I would suggest an institute of consecrated life whose priests enjoy bi-ritual faculties. In regard to the Good Friday prayers, they have already said they wish to adopt the unfortunate new version of the Good Friday Prayers. That’s their choice.


  14. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    First, I will now respect Fr. Z.’s call for short comments.

    On Patrick’s first question:

    The Campos structure is the perfect precedent to answer this.

    If the new Archdiocese wanted to open a new parish in the midst of a local diocese, it could do so, provided that it could offer Mass in a sacred place every Sunday for three consecutive months (e.g.). But it would have to buy its own fitting place to be consecrated in accordance with the law, or else it would need to borrow or rent space from the local ordinary. Since the local ordinaries have most of the real property needed, there would be a de facto limit; but the local ordinary could not prevent the new archdiocese from buying a fitting place as needed.

    On Patrick’s second question: Just a pet name of mine for the New Mass. I was trying to be a bit humourous but not really insulting.


  15. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Addendum to last post: a clarification to Patrick:

    The new archdiocese could always buy or lease a fitting place in order to operate a mission. The mission could become a parish (I propose) once it is able to offer Mass every Sunday for three consecutive months. The local bishop could not stop this process, although it would be wise for the new archbishop to work co-operatively with local bishops, since the latter have ‘got’ most of the available fitting properties for the celebration of Mass.


  16. Patrick says:

    I think Campos is a very good example. But Campos would not work unless the local ordinary and the bishop of the SSJV are on the same page and work together. At this point, I think there is zero likelihood that Rome would allow a structure whereby the “personal archdiocese” could set up a parish (and “poach” his subjects) directly against the wishes of the local ordinary.

  17. PKTP: I think you are hijacking this into speculation now. Enough.

  18. dcs says:

    Jonathan Bennett writes:
    I heard rumor that the Transapline Redemptorists have pulled their seminarians from the SSPX seminary in Australia after recieving some harsh words from the rector there.

    It is not a rumor:
    Seminarians return to Papa Stronsay

    Patrick writes:
    I think Campos is a very good example. But Campos would not work unless the local ordinary and the bishop of the SSJV are on the same page and work together. At this point, I think there is zero likelihood that Rome would allow a structure whereby the “personal archdiocese” could set up a parish (and “poach” his subjects) directly against the wishes of the local ordinary.

    Rome offered this very structure to the SSPX in 2000 or 2001.

  19. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fr. Z:

    Please, I am not hyjacking anything. There is a clear precedent for this in the Campos structure, and this was proposed to the S.S.P.X for consideration–internationally–in 2000, and by Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. Bishop Fellay even publicly called the proposal, and this is a direct quotation: “The Rolls Royce” solution. The S.S.P.X rejected it pending the fulfilment of pre-conditions, but the Campos took the structure, although restricted to the area of its operation at that time.

    To answer Patrick;

    No, you have it wrong about the Campos. Within the territory of the Campos Diocese, there are two de facto dioceses sharing the same territory. Each is 100% independent of the other. The Campos Apostolic Administration is directly subject to Rome and most certainly can ‘poach’ the subjects of the local Diocese. However, unless someone registers in in the Apostolic Administration, he is automatically subject to the Diocese. This does not pose a problem because those attached to the 1962 Mass are a very small minority, and because being a subject of a prelate only matters (for laics) for Baptism, Confirmation, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.

    This is not speculation, Father. It is a proposal. It was adopted as a project in the curia but has not proceeded yet, pending a reaction of the S.S.P.X to “Summorum Pontificum”. Sadly, the S.S.P.X is still saying no. I am proposing that the Transalpine Redemptorists ask for it but not just for themselves. They are too small to justify such a structure just for themselves, but it could be for all of us, and it would provide a place for a reconciled S.S.P.X to come to. In essence, the Holy Father would grant the structure *despite* the Society’s rejection of it, and then the Society would be under pressure to join it. Why? Because groups within the Society and affiliated with the Society would be tempted to join. We already have the examples of the F.S.S.P., the I.P.B., and now the Transalpine Redemptorists: all of them either came out of the S.S.P.X or have been affiliated with it.


  20. PKTP: Two things: First, I keep saying “short comments” here and elsewhere for a reason. Second, this is all speculation. The Holy See and the TAR group will work these things out on their own.

    The bigger issue, now, is the fact of their attitude, manifested to the world.

    They can work this out with the Holy See under whatever juridical structure they and the Holy See determine is opportune.

  21. Tom says:

    Father Z wrote: “This is a point many traditional type forget. They want the Pope to impose, command, micro-manage. ”

    Father, I believe that the above desire flows far more so from conservative Catholics than traditional types.

    I doubt that many traditional types expect Rome to impose, command and micro-manage.

    When Pope Benedict XVI’s reign began, for example, more than a few conservatives predicted that the Holy Father would initiate a detailed “crackdown” that would clean the Church of “liberals.”

    Conversely, Traditional Catholics for decades have expected to receive from Rome little more than “let us do the experiment of Tradition.”

  22. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Fr. Z.’s point about speculation:

    I can see Fr. Z.’s point because it is true that I have suggested an alteration to the Campos structure for an international one. I wish to make clear that I don’t know how developed the details were for the proposal of 2000 to the S.S.P.X, only that it was to be ordinary, exempt, international, and ‘personal’ (i.e. subjects are those who register in it).

    The reason I did indulge in a bit of speculation is that an international structure will differ in some ways from the Campos one. Because the Campos structure is confined to the territory of one local diocese (plus two or three chapels in neighbouring dioceses), there is no problem when it comes to registering laics in it.

    But it seems to me that it could be a problem if someone in Timbuktoo, Mali, were to register in a structure that did not have a parish or mission within a thousand miles of his domicile. Hence it seems reasonable to me to limit the size of the parishes of the new structure to the territories of one diocese or two contiguous dioceses (for cases such as Kansas City), and then to require that laics register in a parish where they have a domicile in order to become subjects in it.


  23. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Since Fr. Z. wishes to discuss the attitude of the T.A.R., I point out that their claim of a case of necessity is quite plausible. To say that it is plausible means that it is internally consistent in law; this does not mean that they were necessarily right. To determine if they were right is a matter of judgement.

    But I think that the argument from necessity is strengthened by the fact that Pope Benedict XVI has now openly admitted that a right of priests to celebrate the T.L.M. was never abrogated. This statement of Benedict XVI clearly contracts “De Missali Romano” of 1971, which directly restricts that right to ageing and retired priests. Popes are not infallible in matters of law and, when there is a direct contradiction, one of them must be wrong in law.

    The error in law of Paul VI created a state of injustice because it obstructed a right of priests. This is what the Commission of Cardinals found in 1986 and it is what S.P. finds in 2007. When someone’s rights are obstructed illegally by legitimate authority, that creates a state of necessity to resist an abuse of power, and that, in turn, can supply jurisdiction.

    But S.P. and the offer to the S.S.P.X in 2000 ends that state of necessity. Hence the decision of the T.A.R. is the correct one in my view.


  24. Patrick says:

    Does anyone have any documentation on the 2000 “offer” to the SSPX? Thanks

    Peter, I didn’t get anything wrong on Campos. I know how it works (as you described), but the only reason it is successful is through the close collaboration of the two bishops. There are many bishops who would not work closely with the SSPX in your scenario. The resulting situation would be the SSPX setting up parishes where the bishop does not want them. I think Rome would not set up a system where this type of “infighting” would be likely. I’m sure whatever solution they have will go to great lengths to avoid such tensions.

  25. John Enright says:

    There is hope here, but I still believe that what is required is complete submission to the will of the Holy Father without preconceptions or expectations. They have to submit utterly to Rome.

  26. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Patrick’s comments:

    Rome knew what she was doing when she made the Campos A.A. 100% independent of the Campos Diocese, and there is no guarantee that the bishops of the two structures will be friends in the future. They could be anyone Rome chooses.

    I don’t see a problem with an international archdiocese establishing its own parishes. We already have Eastern Rite churches and the military ordinariates doing this everywhere.

    I point out that it would be in the vested interest of the new archbishop and the local bishops to work co-operatively. In many cases, the archbishop–a man chosen by the Pope–would decline to establish a parish if this would anger the local bishop. Why? Because, given the lack of resources of the new structure, its archbishop would largely rely on the co-operation of local bishops to provide venues for Masses.

    On the other side, local bishops would mostly be co-operative because (a) they don’t want even the possibility of an embarrassing new parish which they have publicly opposed and (b) they want to please the Pope so as to secure promotions in the future.

    I think that the circumstances could make this foster a spirit of peace and harmony. Keep in mind that it would be supplemental to S.P. in the local dioceses. This means that the local bishops could continue to set up their own T.L.M.s under favourable conditions, thereby keeping the new archdiocese out.


  27. Fr. Angel says:

    This is wonderful news. Unfortunately, according to the same website, it was reported that the SSPX at the seminary, although initially friendly, made it clear that the SSPX would not take any of the Redemptorist seminarians if there was a reconciliation. Sad. The seminarians were recalled to Papa Stronsay because of the SSPX attitudes. Also, John Enright is on the mark. Reconciliation means submission or it will not be a lasting reconciliation. Rome has shown with the FSSP and others that a traditional apostolate can be exercised, but not alongside placing conditions and demands on the rest of the Church.

  28. schoolman says:

    I think TAR’s have already shown themselves to have the proper disposition for submission — given their statement to “obey with submission” the revised Good Friday prayer. It was an model example of submission if there ever was one.

  29. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On documentation of the 2000 offer:

    The details were never specified because the S.S.P.X slammed the door in the Holy Father’s face. It was argued extensively at that time by scores of people on line (e.g. ctngreg), including me. Bishop Fellay wrote about it publicly in several of his letters from back then and called it “the Rolls Royce solution”. That is a direct quotation. Look through S.S.P.X sources such as the “Angelus” to learn more.

    I was consulted about this by certain canonists but I do not wish to reveal too much about who they were. At one point, someone contacted me and told me to ‘shut up’ about it because what I was suggesting was being negotiated for the Campos group. Shortly thereafter, it was granted to the Campos group with the difference that it was to be restricted to Brazil. But the bishops conference of Brazil intervened and that’s how it got restricted to the Campos plus two or three of its chapels in neighbouring dioceses. Under the provisions of Canon 372.2, the bishops’ conference must be consulted. But that can be waived if the structure is to exist in several countries. This was done for Opus Dei’s structure: the consultation was waived.

    The Campos is exempt, ‘personal’ under the provisions of Canon 372.2, and ordinary’; unlike a personal prelature, it is a ‘particular church’. It can also expand outside the Campos even to create parishes, but only with the permission of local ordinaries.

    Later on, a project in Rome proposed that a similar structure be granted for an entire country. It was not Brazil or the U.S.A. I’d rather not say more on the details.

    The fact that the S.S.P.X won’t take this offer boggles my mind.


  30. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Fr. Angel’s comments about the F.S.S.P.:

    I think that much overstatement was used in this debate in 1999 over Protocol 1411-99. While I usually over-react, if anything, to problems, in this case, I could not see what so much of the fuss was about.

    The F.S.S.P. priests are permitted but not required to use the N.O.M. In order to maintain discipline, Fr. Devillers promised not to establish Fraternity apostolates in dioceses where the local bishops required Fraternity priests to use the New Mass as a condition of entry. This has really not been much of a problem because the demand for Fraternity priests is far greater than the supply of dioceses where they can serve.

    A fortiori, in the wake of S.P., nobody today worries about Fraternity priests saying the New Mass. Most of them can’t meet the demand to say 1962 Masses. It was all a tempest in a teapot. Fraternity priests who want to say the New Mass will find the F.S.S.P. to be an uncomfortable place to be, and they will drift away . . . .


  31. schoolman says:

    Fr. Angel, I must admit that I was not too surprised to learn about the seminarians returning to Papa Stronsay. The SSPX argument hinges on equating regularization to loss of integrity of the faith. Groups that reconcile with the Holy See are typically demonized by the SSPX (sadly!). In fact all of the regularized traditional communities are a reminder to us all that it is possible to be fully Catholic while being in perfect visible communion with the Holy See.

  32. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Comment to Schoolman:

    I agree with you. I think, though, that the S.S.P.X feels threatened right now. All these defections threaten its unity and S.P. threatens its growth.


  33. Victor says:

    The provisions made by Summorum Pontificum are sufficient, but – alas! – many people are impatient and want results immediately. Give it time! Deo volente, during five years we will see changes on many levels:
    1. Many priests in many parishes will be celebrating the E.F. regularly, creating the desired “gravitational pull” towards the O.F.
    2. Bishop’s resistance will in great parts have ceased; of course, many will still not like it, but the instruments they created to control or even obstruct the celebrations of O.F. will have been pulled out of their hands by then.
    3. The integration of Prefaces and Saints in the older Missale will have been implemented.
    4. Perhaps even some minor, but important reforms of the newer Missale might have taken place.

    Now, a parallel structure as proposed by Mr Perkins above would make the gravitational pull much more difficult. Why would any parish priest bother learning the E.F. when there are priests of this “Archdiocese” ready to take over? No gravitational pull, no cross-pollination, but instead a second roman rite. Everything is in God’s hands, but I pray the “Archdiocese of St Gregory the Great” does not see the light of day.

    Fr. Z, sorry if the comment was too long or off-topic. Feel free to erase it!

  34. Michael says:

    “The details were never specified because the S.S.P.X slammed the door in the Holy Father’s face. It was argued extensively at that time by scores of people on line (e.g. ctngreg), including me. Bishop Fellay wrote about it publicly in several of his letters from back then and called it “the Rolls Royce solution”. That is a direct quotation. Look through S.S.P.X sources such as the “Angelus” to learn more.”

    I’ve searched (perhaps not diligently enough) but I could find nothing about this other than what you have written here. Oddly enough, the only mention of a “Rolls Royce Solution” is made by other anonymous internet bloggers on other sites. All are almost verbatim to what you write here.Since you seem to be familliar with this, surely you could post a link of some kind to some documentation.

    Sorry, but from what you have said so far, it seems as if something may have happened in 2000 and speculation about what it may have been engendered some heated debate on line.

  35. schoolman says:

    Victor, I think you make a great point. In time, the SP approach will promote healthy cross-pollination. Nobody really wants to see the EF relegated to its own “silo” in the Church…but we need some patience, and hearts wide open, and a little humility..

  36. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Victor:

    First, you forget that, at first, this Archdiocese would have few resources and no incardinated priests; it would rely on the traditionalsit orders mostly. It would be able to reconcile independent chapels and provide a safe haven for them.

    Second, this proposal has already been offered to the S.S.P.X. By offering it more generally, there would be a place of refuge for a reconciled S.S.P.X in the future. In the shorter term, it would provide such a place for the thirty-some traditionalist societies and orders to operate, althuogh they could also continue to work under the local bishops where this would be more convenient for them.

    Third, it would be able to protect the 1962 calendar and have its own holydays, its own fasting and abstinence laws, its own rules against Communion in the hand and altar girls. It would provide stability and discipline under a bishop who shares a traditionalist charism of spirituality with his subjects. We need a bishop who cares about us! Most care only to wipe us out!

    Lastly, it is completely compatible with “Summorum Pontificum” and its implementation in local dioceses. The gravitational pull would continue because that is where most of the action would be for the first few decades, at least. But we wouldn’t want this ‘cross-pollination’ to move in two directions. We need stability in the aftermath of a revolution. We don’t need to have the 1962 Mass corrupted by practices and an ethos which are foreign to and incompatible with it–from the New Mass. Let each liturgy preserve its own culture.

    If this does see the light of day, the S.S.P.X will either join it or face decline. You might consider that, although I admit that a Society decline might be inevitable anyway under S.P.


  37. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On documentation:

    I really don’t have the time to do an extensive search of all the references to this question of 2000. In a quick on-line search, I found a reference to it here:

    This is only Bishop Fellay quoting in 2002 his own earlier expression. You need to go back to 2000 or 2001 to get the debate itself and all the discussion about the structure. Much of it was discussed to death in the ctngreg list at that time, and they do have archives you could search. I also have copies of the Angelus given to me by others which mention it all (I never subscribed to the Angelus though).

    The Campos structure was granted by a decree of John Paul II on Christmas Eve, 2001, and then the statutes were approved in January, 2002.


  38. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    More on documentation:

    Here is an earlier quote than the one I have just given:

    Msgr. Fellay: “It is a wonderful Rolls Royce since we would have ordinary jurisdiction, but . . .”

    Note the reference to “ordinary jurisdiction” here. It proves my point. They were being offered an ordinary jurisdiction, which is a particular church, equivalent in law to a diocese (cf. Canons 368, 371, 372, esp. 372.2). It was obviously international, since the S.S.P.X exists in many countries on all the continents.

    However, this quote from the summer of 2002 is not the original, in which appeared the expression “Rolls Royce solution”. Once again, you might try searching the archives of ctngreg for all the debates about it. Try 1999 to 2001.


  39. Michael says:

    “This is only Bishop Fellay quoting in 2002 his own earlier expression”

    Then you either mis-understand or mis-characterize what was said. I’ll not derail this thread any further, but Bishop Fellay was speaking of the Campos agreement and said that it looked like a Rolls Royce, but was not.

    I happen to disagree with Bishop Fellay and think a Campos style agreement would be wonderful, but this is not even close to what you have portrayed here. You implied that the SSPX was offered such an agreement and that Bishop Felay acknowledges that it was a “Rolls Royce” but rejected it in any case.

    In the second link, Bishop Felay was speaking of a hypothetical personal prelature suggested by Cardinal Castrillon. In short, the SSPX was being offered nothing concrete, but was instead asked what they though of something. Honestly, there is probably much fault to be found with the SSPX, but don’t go inventing things.

  40. dcs says:

    Bp. Fellay stated in an interview with The Latin Mass that the SSPX was offered an apostolic administration and compared it to a “universal diocese.” He further stated that the proposed solution was “splendid.” I don’t remember the exact issue but I can track it down if absolutely necessary. Hope this helps.

  41. David says:

    Peter is correct. The original “Rolls Royce” quote was said in the context that Peter has described. I don’t have the quotes but I was involved in the discussion on ctngreg when this came up.

  42. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Michael:

    No, I am definitely NOT misinterpreting Bishop Fellay’s comments. Look, I was deeply involved in the debate at the time. He used the “Rolls Royce” expression the first time to refer to the arrangement that was offered to the S.S.P.X. I believe that his original expression was “the Rolls Royce solution” and he used it in reference to what Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, on behalf of Pope John Paul II, had offered the Society of St. Pius X. The structure was then offered to and accepted by the Campos and he used the expression (and still does) several times after that to refer to what was granted to the Campos–because the two were essentially the same. They are the same offer of ordinary jurisdiction. The only difference is that the Society one would have been international. The Campos one was for a small territory because nearly all its apostolates happened to be confined to that territory.

    I don’t go for all this apology nonsense and I am not asking you to apologise for anything. But I hope that you are not implying that I am a liar. I not only saw his analysis at the time but was very much involved in urging the S.S.P.X to take the offer. I hope that you are not implying that I am imagining this. That is really offensive because I spent scores of hours at the time arguing over it.

    To close, note that the last quotation, even though it is not his earliest use of this Rolls Royce expression CONFIRMS that he was using it in reference to the S.S.P.X: “It is a wonderful Rolls Royce since ***we*** [emphasis added] would have an ordinary jurisdiction . . . ”

    Here is the reference for all the doubting Thomases:

    Note the date: 2002. But he was quoting earlier uses of the expression (not that it matters, since the one I have given refers to the S.S.P.X, not the Campos).

    The bit about personal prelatures needs an explanation. There was CONSTANT CONFUSION about this at the time and journalists interviewing Fellay and others were constantly referring to the offer as a personal prelature. It was not. A personal prelature is NOT an ordinary jurisdiction. The Cardinal NEVER suggested a personal prelature, but the journalists kept saying that he had. The Cardinal offered an ordinary jurisdiction. Check it out in the Code of Canons. Personal prelatures are covered in Canons 294 to 297. Ordinary jurisdictions, including apostolic administrations (371.2) which can be personal (Canon 372.2) are not personal prelatures.

    Nope, I am not a liar, just a rotten old traditionalist who doesn’t like neo-conservatives and papolaters. And I did not INVENT anything.


  43. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    My proof.

    I have found the proof that what was offered to the S.S.P.X in 2000 was an apostolic administration (an ordinary jurisdiction, Canon 371.2) ‘ad personam’ (Canon 372.2) and NOT a personal prelature. I don’t use the term ‘ad personam’ here in a legalistic sense. I simply mean that its subjects are those persons registered in it.

    Here it is. This is proof positive of everything I have been saying:

    I must say that I am really offended at Michael’s remarks. I don’t mind being called nasty things; in fact, I even revel in it. But I hate being called a liar. My honesty means a lot to me. Sure, I’ll make mistakes but I don’t lie on line. You are a priest, Fr. Zuhlsdorf. Please do something about this.


  44. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Now that I have supplied the reference to prove my point (and defend my character), here is the exact quote, and notice the date. He is referring back six months to the year 2000:

    “We would never have imagined that Rome could offer us such a proposition. You have no doubt heard talk of this idea of an apostolic administration. The Society of St. Pius X would have become incorporated into an apostolic administration. What does this signify? The apostolic administration ordinarily is a diocesan structure, or quasi diocesan, in a time of crisis, over a given territory. Well! For us this territory would be the entire world. In other words, they offered us a structure that covered the entire world, a kind of personal diocese…

    Excuse me for interrupting, Your Excellency, you mean a personal prelacy…

    Not at all. The apostolic administration is better than a personal prelacy. In the first place, a personal prelacy is not necessarily governed by a bishop. An apostolic administration, which is quasi diocesan, normally would be. Furthermore, and above all, the action of an apostolic administration is not limited to its members. The Opus Dei, which is the personal prelacy that exists today, is not subject to the local bishop in all that concerns its members, but it could not consider any external action without the consent of the bishop. With the apostolic administration, we avoid this restriction. We would be able to take an autonomous apostolic action without having to ask authorisation from the diocesan bishop, since we would have a veritable diocese, whose distinctive characteristic is that it extends to the entire world. It is very important that such a proposition has been made, because after all, this juridical solution has never happened before, it is “sui generis”. Now that it has been established, it can represent for us, from a juridical point of view, a reference, a position of comparison. Especially since it is to the Society of St. Pius X that this possibility has been proposed, which shows just how seriously Rome sees our resistance. It’s not by vainglory that I say that, believe me: symbolically (first of all, it’s not a question of numbers) we represent something very important for Rome, and this also is new.

    Your Excellency, if this proposition is so extraordinary, and it certainly seems to be – we would like to ask you – why is it that you didn’t immediately accept this practical agreement, which was offered to you on a platter?

    You are right, it is an exatraordinary proposition, and if Rome wanted a true reform, it is the way we have just described that would have to be taken. But a true will for reform is necessary. For the moment, it is difficult to know exactly where the signing of such an agreement would have led us.”

    Now, ladies and gentlemen, from this I have argued since 2000 that the state of necessity is over for the S.S.P.X. I am hoping that “Michael” will tell me that I have imagined all the scores of hours arguing that too.

    What I am arguing for now is different only in title: an exempt international and personal archdiocese. It is a bit more exalted that an apostolic administration, which is a provisional or temporary diocese, that’s all.


  45. Michael C. says:


    Although I too would hate to see the TLM become ghettoized, I would hate even more to see it pulled closer to the OF just for the sake of “organic development.” The old missal really doesn’t NEED new prefaces or vernacular readings or any of the changes introduced in 1965. In fact, I think we can make a pretty cogent argument for a limited number of prefaces and Latin readings, especially given the popularity of hand missals today. Most of the changes being asked for, if they aren’t novelties, are practices that were disgarded early on in the history of the liturgy for reasons that might not be immediately clear to us. I’ve come to think of the Traditional Mass as a complicated machine that no one understands that well. You open it up and remove one part that has no discernable function and the whole thing could stop working.

    The biggest problem today is that there used to be certain rules and principles that were used to determine if a proposed liturgical modification was sound. Today, most of the changes in the 1965 Missal look pretty innocent. Some of the proposed modifications are problematic and very untridentine. Celebating the “Liturgia Verbi” at the chair, for example, is a practice found in French monasteries borrowed from the Novus Ordo that seems to be minor enough to permit. But as Dom Emmanuel of Le Barroux made clear in his essay presented at the 1997 CIEL conference, this innovation has serious problems that the PCED probably didn’t see when it rubber stamped their request. Given everything that’s happened in the past 40 years, we can’t expect the PCED to respect the traditional rules today. In fact, we can expect them not to respect those rules since they have no reason to. Their goal seems to be “mutual enrichment” which so far has meant not touching the NO and modernizing the EF. I wonder, for example, if the PCED would give permission for folded chasubles or the use of the 1948 Holy Week as readily as they gave permission for the omission of the Last Gospel and the Judica Me.

    We can debate whether a liturgy is “alive” if its not changing (the success of the Divine Liturgy in the East and the devotion it still inspires proves that it can be) but I think most people would agree that now is not the time to be making changes. Ratzinger felt this way when he spoke at Fontgombault six years ago. The storm is hardly over, and it won’t have passed for some time. But even if it were, woudl the Misal need to be changed? The liturgy fares well without change. Like all traditional rites, the Missal stopped developing after the Middle Ages. The successful post-Tridentine reforms were minor and never approached anything like what we saw in the Middle Ages until the 1950s. Proper development since the Middle Ages, and this goes for all traditional Christian rites, has meant adding new feast days and at most a minor reorganization of the parts. It hasn’t meant adding new prayers or resurrecting dead prayers, vestments, rites or rubrics from the past. Remember St. Theresa of Avila’s famous quote, “I’d give my life for one rubric”? She could never have said that if the liturgy in her time was undergoing the kind of “organic development” we demand today. Clearly, she thought the Tridentine Missal was perfect in all its parts. I think we could all learn something from her pious humility.

  46. Victor says:

    Mr Perkins said: “But we wouldn’t want this ‘cross-pollination’ to move in two directions.”
    We cannot ignore that, while surely not intending the Bugnini Reform, the fathers of Vatican Council explicitly DEMANDED: “The liturgical books are to be revised as soon as possible” (SC 25)! Setting the Older Missal in a “Jurassic Park” environment (hat tip to Father Z.) like a “personal Archdiocese” would not help this. The Holy Father himself said in Summorum Pontificum: “new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal.” And a while ago there was a letter posted either here or at the NML where then-Cardinal Ratzinger shared his vision of a revised Roman Missal.
    What about the prayer of the Faithful the Council explicitly wished to be reintroduced (SC 53)? What about the wish for more scriptural readings (SC 51)? Unless you wish to ignore a Common Council of the Catholic Church, you have to admit that the 1962 Missal must be reformed. The future of our Rite lies not in two separate forms, but in the reunification of them both into a single rite that developped organically out of both its predecessors.

  47. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On ghettoisation:

    This matter was also debated to death on ctngreg back in 2000 to about 2005 (unless I imagined that too). It’s not really a problem because any new international and personal ordinariate (e.g. archdiocese or apostolic administration) would only serve a very small per centage of traditionalists for the first twenty years or more. The structure would supplement, not replace, diocesan T.L.M.s in local parishes. There would be a slow and gradual movement into the new structure, during which bonds with the supporters of the New Mass would be forged. In the end, it would be probably less ghettoised than any Eastern-Rite parish in the West because there is not the usual ethnic restriction.

    But I think that a separate structure headed by a sympathetic bishop would certainly help. Since restoration of our T.L.M. in Victoria, Canada, we have already been assailed by our enemies from the New Mass, and so has our priest. This was provoked *entirely* by them. One of them, in particular, entered after our Mass and picked fights with us. We just want to be left alone.

    Let’s not dream up problems which do not exist; we have enough real problems. As Bishop Fellay himself admitted, it is the “Rolls Royce” solution. Let’s just hope that he accepts it, and let’s hope that the Pope grants it with or without him!


  48. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Victor’s comments:

    I agree that S.C. demanded a revision. But S.C. is not infallible in matters of liturgy. Yes, I dare to disagree with Sacrosantum Concilium. Strike me with the discipline.

    At any rate, a new ordinary structure would actually enable us to make reforms where they have always been appropriate: in the addition of propers. I favour adding to the calendar St. Gianna Beretta Molla, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, and the Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. Not all those which traditionalists will want to add will be favoured by others; and vice versa. Having our own (arch)bishop means having a degree of liturgical stability. If the Cardinal-Archbishop Cipriani Thorne of Lima recently banned Communion in the hand in his see at all Masses, then so could our archbishop over his subjects. If Bishop Bruskewicz can ban Altar girls in his Diocese, then so could our Archbishop. Our Archbishop could protect our holydays and prevent their transfer to the nearest Sunday. Right now, instead of this, we have Msgr. Perl making the rules for us and corrupting our entire liturgical ethos and culture.

    True, this new archbishop would only have jurisdiction over a small number of us at first, but his very existence and expanding pastorship would ensure a needed degree of stability and unity in the wake of a revolution.

    S.C. also said in Article 23 that no change should be made unless the good the Church made it genuinely necessary. Given the chaos in the New Mass at present, necessity requires only modest and gradual change, wouldn’t you agree?

    Now, as for revising the liturgical books, this has been done for the New Mass. S.C. never said that such change had to be universal, merely that it had to be made. It says in there somewhere that all legitimate liturgical rites are to be preserved and fostered. I don’t know the reference, so I must be making it all up.

    I am constantly fighting the papolaters on this list, so it’s time to throw something back in their teeth. The quotation I have given (unless Bsp. Fellay, like me, is just another liar) proves that Pope John Paul II offered the S.S.S.X a personal archdiocese. Now, you papolaters, if the Pope offered it, how on earth can it be a bad thing? Where is your respect for the sweet wisdom of John Paul the Great? And, if it could be good to give the disobedient (and bad, really bad) S.S.P.X a personal diocese or apostolic administration, can it be all that bad to give it to those traditionalists who insist on being loyal to the Pope?


  49. Richard says:

    Mr. Perkins clearly has a great deal of enthusiasm (and verbiage) but I do find his proposals and information interesting.

    I do hope the Redemptorists can find their way back into full communion. We should all pray that they do. Thanks to Fr. Z for posting and commenting on this.

  50. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To keep things short this time, as a tribute to Fr. Z.

    As to Victor’s comments:

    He seems to be favouring the addition of new lections to the 1962 Mass and the addition of the Prayer of General Intercession (Bidding Prayer). Can he be serious? And they call me a dreamer. Any attempt to add such things would create chaos, division, schism, separation, even warfare. Can this be in the interest of the Church?

    We have these additions in the New Mass, and those who feel the need to drink from that font of sweetness may indulge themselves. As for me, I prefer the Mass of our ancestors. It was good enough for 1,500 years of countless saints, and it’s good enough for me, pace the non-infallble Council.


  51. PKTP: I think you have started to dominate the combox.

  52. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fr. Z.:

    I have little more to say. I’ve made my case. I would love to answer others’ questions, that’s all. But I still don’t understand why you removed a short post which simply quoted the T.A.R.’s letter. After all, I only quoted their words.


  53. Bill says:

    Mr. Perkins seems to have quite a bit of time on his hands.

  54. Kradcliffe says:

    I think Mr. Perkins ought to start his own blog. He clearly has a lot of information and some interesting ideas. And, his comments would then have a link in the signature via which people could communicate with him privately.

  55. Victor says:

    Father Z., dare I add another comment?

    Mr Perkins said: “He seems to be favouring the addition of new lections to the 1962 Mass and the addition of the Prayer of General Intercession (Bidding Prayer).”

    An addition of a third (Old Testament) reading and formulized General Intercessions (think byzantine) to the 1962 Mass would go well with the structure, and frankly, I cannot see how it would create the “chaos, division, schism, separation, even warfare” Mr Perkins expects. Of course, this presupposes that people are receptive and obedient to the demands of a Holy Synod of the Church (a.k.a. Vaticanum II). Dare we hope that? Or do all traditionalists rather want to “be left alone”? Well, guess what: you are part of a family called “church”, and that means you are never alone, like it or not. This Mass is not your private property, it belongs to all of us, and together we have to find a common ground. Everything else is sectarian in nature.

  56. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Victor:

    I am aware that we traditionalists are never alone. There are always nasty liberals around every corner who want to pollute our Mass with their foolish ideas. The dropping of the Bidding Prayer in the early Middle Ages was a result of organic change led by the Holy Ghost: it helped impart that Roman brevity that is a hallmark of our Mass. As for the third reading, I don’t see anyone imposing it on the Byzantine Catholic Church. Just try turning their Sacred Liturgy into a permanent workshop and watch them go Orthodox in a heartbeat.

    This is not the time for tinkering. We’ve had enough of that for now–and we’ve seen the disastrous results.


  57. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Earlier this evening, blog, I think I realised what the Transalpine Redemptorists mean when they say that they have been offered or expect to gain an “ordinary jurisdiction”. I expect that they hope for a territorial abbacy or priory for their motherhouse, which embraces the small island of Papa Stronsay, in the Orkneys.

    This is an ordinary jurisdiction or ‘particular church’ and is equivalent in law to a diocese (cf. Canon 368). Its ordinary, the abbot (or prior) has the same jurisdiction as a bishop in his see, but does not have the sacramental rôle of a bishop, obviously (unless he is consecrated bishop as well). But the monks would be confirmed elsewhere and any bishop could be flown in to confer Holy Orders.

    The territory can be discontinous, for, under Canon 370, it need only be “territorially defined”. So it could include the territory of their new monastery in the Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, and their house in Kent (Diocese of Brentwood). But the territory might be confined to Papa Stronsay. The reason is that this would hardly limit the jurisdiction of the local ordinary, the Bishop of Aberdeen, since one can only get to Papa Stronsay by special boat trip, and the winds are often up to 100 miles per hour.

    What I have written about them advocating a larger ordinary structure for all of us still stands: it is something we should pray for–but we should probably not hold our breaths.


  58. Bill says:

    Mr. Perkins is, yet again, dominating the combox. Does the man ever learn?

  59. Michael Gormally says:

    “Phoenix-like” is not a metaphor. It is a simile.

  60. David says:

    Bill why not let Fr. Z make up his own mind. There’s no need to take shots at Peter.

  61. Patrick says:

    In regard to the alleged deal offered to the SSPX in 2000 or thereabouts.

    According to Card. Castrillon-Hoyos, it was a society of apostolic life and not a personal apostolic administration that was offered to the SSPX. So, it’s not surprising that Bishop Fellay turned it down, as such a juridical structure would only allow the SSPX to operate in diocese with written permission of the local ordinary.

    This letter from the Cardinal clearly explains the happenings in 2000 and 2001, and quite frankly shows Bishop Fellay to be a bit two-faced in his handling of this matter. While he was most cordial and open with Card. Castrillon Hoyos, he would then publically say inflammatory and disrespectful things about the Church and the Holy Father.

  62. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Patrick:

    Your analysis, quite frankly, shows that you do not fully appreciate the situation with the Society in canonical terms. No, what was suggested (not formally offered) to the S.S.P.X earlier (not in December) of 2000 and then actually granted to the Campos in 2001 was a personal apostolic adminstration. Bishop Fellay did not make this up and then write at lenght of a diocese covering the whole world. No, Bishop Fellay is not a liar.

    This is not a matter of either/or but of this/plus that. The S.S.P.X is affiliated with a number of traditionalist religious orders (Benedictines, Franciscans &c.). One of them is the subject here: the Transalpine Redemptorists. The apostolic administration, which would be international and personal would embrace all of these orders, and its ordinary would be the superior-general of the S.S.P.X. The S.S.P.X’s other bishops would be auxiliary bishops in the structure. *Within* this apostolic administration, the S.S.P.X would be what it naturally must be: a society of apostolic life, like the F.S.S.P.

    Obviously, Rome did not simply offer to the S.S.P.X what it has given the F.S.S.P. (and especially the I.P.B., which has its own normative rite). No, it offered the S.S.P.X an ordinary jurisdiction and then, when this was declined for the time being, it offered it to the Campos. Look, you are making assessments of Bishop Fellay’s character here and yet you have not read all the commentary of the time. It was to a personal ordinary structure for the S.S.P.X, in which the Society itself would be a society of apostolic life.

    Do you really think that Rome would create a ‘parallel diocese’ for 30 Campos priests and no parallel diocese for 500 S.S.P.X priests and their several affiliated religious orders? Not a chance.

    By the way, I was consulted on these matters at the time by certain canonists, and they were not from Iowa. I am not claiming that they told me what was offered to the S.S.P.X. My understanding is that Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos only suggested a structure which would be exempt, international, ‘personal’ (not used canonically here) and ordinary. In order to make it provisional (ad experimentum), the apostolic administration structure was discussed but never formally proposed. It might have taken the form of a diocese or archdiocese, or there could have been an apostolic constitution to form another type of ordinariate. (such as the apostolic constitution Spirituali Militum Curæ for military ordinariates in 1986) But the essentials would have been the same.



  63. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    One last comment to Patrick:

    I apologise if my previous remarks were a tad harsh in the first sentence. However, I suggest that, if you reject what Bsp. Fellay said in the quotation I furnished, you really must be implying that he is a liar. The reason is that he does not merely say ‘apostolic administration’ but then does on at length to explain it to the interviewer. And this is not the reference I had been looking for. There was another one, the one in which he used the term ‘Rolls Royce’ (‘Rolls Royce solution’, I believe) for the first time. I gently suggest to you that Bishop Fellay did not consider the situation of the F.S.S.P. to be a Rolls Royce solution!

    Let’s leave it at that.


  64. Fr. Angel says:

    I want to clarify something in my previous post:
    “Rome has shown with the FSSP and others that a traditional apostolate can be exercised, but not alongside placing conditions and demands on the rest of the Church.”
    This comment is not meant to imply that the FSSP every placed conditions or demands on the rest of the Church, although it could seem as if I was saying that. I have great respect and admiration for the FSSP. They have shown their willingness to work within the Church without dictating to the rest of the Church. I do not believe the Church should receive back into her bosom those who will not keep charity and respect with the rest of the Church.

  65. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Um, Patrick, I just found proof that my last explanation to you was correct. Please re-read the quotation I gave you from Bishop Fellay. He says this: “The S.S.P.X would be *incorporated* [emphasis mine] into an apostolic administration . . .”. So it would be a society of apostolic life incorporated into a personal apostolic administration. Natural, since it has been a society of apostolic life since 1970. Case closed.


  66. Patrick says:


    Yes, I think that Bishop Fellay is “bending” the truth to help his case. Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos seems to agree when he says:

    “Until today, for my part, I have never agreed to grant interviews on the subject, in order to maintain the privacy of the details of our dialogue: for me they have always had a provisional and discreet character, because of the great responsibility that I feel in conscience for this matter. It now seems to me opportune, for the love of truth, to clarify here several aspects of the development of this reconciliation,….”

    Further, I find it very suspicious that Card. Castrillon Hoyos would go to great lengths to explain every step of detail in the negotiations, but omit the fact that an apostolic administration was offered. Also, if the SSPX has always been a society of apostolic life, I would think Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos would know that and would not offer them something that they already possess!?! When he says: “2.3 The Fraternity would be a Society of Apostolic Life with a special rite,” why doesn’t he mention apostolic administration??? And later when he addresses the apostolic administration of Campos and his desire to reconcile with the SSPX, why wouldn’t he make some mention of this offer to the SSPX of an apostolic administration???

    It just doesn’t add up at all. Either Bp. Fellay is making up the offer, or Card. Castrillon Hoyos is neglecting to mention it’s existence. I am much more inclined to put credence in the Cardinal’s account of history than in Bishop Fellay’s. Particularly since the Cardinal wrote this piece to counter the misinformation that had been spewing from Bishop Fellay and the SSPX.

  67. dcs says:

    or Card. Castrillon Hoyos is neglecting to mention it’s existence

    Which is not difficult to believe if His Eminence wants “to maintain the privacy of the details of our dialogue.” It is no stretch to say that certain quarters of the Church would be upset if the Holy See publicly admitted that an apostolic administration had been offered. Since Card. Castrillon does not deny that the SSPX was offered an apostolic administration, there is no reason to think that Bp. Fellay is not telling the truth.

    Ask yourself why the SSPX, with its four bishops, would be offered less than the Campos-based SSJV with its one bishop.

    Furthermore, if you read on in Card. Castrillon’s comments:

    This embrace was put into concrete form with the most adaptable juridical model. Offered in a permanent manner, for the development of the charism of this union, at the heart of the only Church of Christ with Peter at Her head: I refer to the personal apostolic administration of Campos, which is not a transitional solution but is given in a stable manner (one can by no means doubt this stability and this will). I know that many people, lay, priests and religious of the Society of St. Pius X, want to find peace of mind, in full reconciliation with the Church.

    What do you think His Eminence is saying here?

  68. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Patrick:

    You are really going too far. First, it is more than “bending the truth” for Bishop Fellay to say that an apostolic administration was offered AND THEN TO GO ON AND EXPLAIN THE OFFER IN DETAIL. You’d have to say that he was LYING if this was not true. In Moral Law, the onus probandi falls on YOU, Patrick, to demonstrate that he is lying; otherwise, hold your peace like a good Catholic. Moreover, as I’ve said before, this was not the first time he mentioned this. I have still not found his first “Rolls Royce solution” comment but it was about this subject. Also, even in recent articles of Bishop Fellay, he has tried to explain why the Society continues to reject the Rolls Royce, saying that doctrinal matters must be resolved first. Would he say this of the structure the F.S.S.P. has? Also, the leaders of the I.P.B. left the S.S.P.X precisely because they favour acceptance of the apostolic administration. Would they leave over a grant of a society of apostolic life? They could have had that all along. I note that one of the leaders of the I.P.B., Fr. Laguérie, was a founding member of the S.S.P.X and friend of Abp. Lefebvre. He left *before* Summorum Pontificum was published precisely because he thinks (rightly) that the S.S.P.X should take Rome’s offer.

    Now why would the structure enjoyed by the F.S.S.P. be a “Rolls Royce solution”, PARTICULARLY after Protocol 1411-99? Duh.

    Secondly, just because Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos did not mention the larger structure in a particular negotiation in December of 1999 means nothing. There would have been more negotiations but the Society broke them off. You have raised a classic fallacy, an argumentum ad ignorantium. Given the enormous amount of discussion of the offer at the time, one would think (to use your tack) that the Cardinal would have denied this were it not true, so where is the denial?

    Thirdly, in the view of Rome, the S.S.P.X does NOT have a society of apostolic life but had one from 1970 to 1976. It ended, in the view of Rome, in 1976. Now why would a return to that status be a Rolls Royce solution? The S.S.P.X could have had that status WITH its four bishops for the last twenty years! I am supposing that, in the first round of talks, the Cardinal was trying to resolve the easier problems and mention some difficulties. That does not mean that these preliminary discussions were to be exhaustive. They were an opening. One item resolved was that the S.S.P.X per se would be what it had been: a society of apostolic life. This has never been in doubt.

    Fourthly, as dcs finds, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos does mention the Campos structure as a model specifically in relation to the S.S.P.X. According to the discussion of the time, the S.S.P.X rejected the personal apostolic administration (for 500 priests) and then, less than a year later, it was actually granted for only 30 Campos priests. One plus one equals two.

    But most important of all, I was involved in the debate at the time and I can assure you that this suggested offer from Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos was mentioned by both sides, and it was mentioned dozens of times in 2000. Are you calling me a liar too? Before doing so, go into the archives of ctngreg and pore over the posts there.

    Lastly, why would Bishop Fellay lie about this? If it’s true (which it clearly is), it makes his own position untenable. For, if Rome has offered a particular church (such as a p.a.a.), how can he argue for a continued state of necessity?

    Do the right thing and stand down on this.


  69. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Are Frs. Aulagnier and Laguérie also liars? Is Brian Mershon?

    Oh, the evidence is just falling out of the sky now. I wonder if Patrick here will finally concede? Will he have the good grace to do so? If so, I will have the good grace to relent. But I think that I must continue in order to defend the character of Bishop Fellay and myself. I don’t think that either of us are liars.

    Here is a statement by Brian Mershon on the creation of the I.P.B. shortly before S.P. was published:

    “Fr. Paul Aulagnier joins Abbot Laguérie along with three other French priests. He is a notable priest who was expelled by the SSPX in 2003 after he publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with SSPX leadership for not accepting a personal apostolic administration, reportedly with worldwide jurisdiction, similar to that of the now regularized St. John Marie Vianney Campos, Brazil, priests, with Bishop Fernando Rifan as their ordinary.”

    Gee (as Americans are wont to say), I hope Fr. Aulagnier didn’t leave the S.S.P.X for nothing. If only he had consulted with Patrick of this blog, the I.P.B. would never have been founded.


  70. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Thank goodness for Google. It refutes these Patricks every time.

    I have found two more references proving that what was offered to the S.S.P.X in 2000 was a [personal] apostolic administration.

    Go here:

    This is an interview of Bsp. Fellay in “The Latin Mass Magazine”. First quote: “Bishop Fellay: They offered us an Apostolic Administration, a universal diocese”. Now that’s rather direct, isn’t it? Liar, liar, pants on fire!

    Now the second quote is even better because the interviewer specifically asks if the Society will accept only the society of apostolic life solution of the F.S.S.P., especially in light of the then-recent Protocol 1411-99. Here is Bishop Fellay’s reply:

    “We were told that the Pope would speak in favo[u]r of the old Mass, but said he would do it at the time when he would erect the SSPX [i.e. S.S.P.X] as a Apostolic Administration.”

    Whoops! Date: 23-1-2002

    Elsewhere, on line, I learnt something I did not know but which is very impressive. Apparently, Julian Cardinal Herranz favoured the personal apostolic administration solution, not only for the S.S.P.X but for all of us. This is EXACTLY what I have advocated all these years. But it is bracing to know that that exalted figure agrees. He was, until very recently, I believe, President of the Pontificial Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, just about the top canonist in the entire Church. I also found that Jorge Cardinal Medina Estévez, former Prefect for Clergy, favoured it, but I had already known that.

    Stand down, Patrick.

    Oh, and let’s pray that Cardinal Herranz still has some influence!


  71. John says:

    Interesting comments. I was amazed to see so many from one individual. At the time of my reading these posts, the count stood at sixty-six. Twenty-nine from one person. That is roughly forty-four percent. Wow.

  72. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    John, it’s because I’ve spent scores of hours on this matter of jurisdictions since about 1995. It’s a major hobby for me. I really objected to the suggestion by one or two bloggers that much of what I had been analysing and debating back there was all about a proposal that did not exist.

    Once again, there is a silver lining here to Patrick’s challenge. In finding evidence to refute him, I found something wonderful: I found that Julian Cardinal Herranz, one of the most prominent canonists in the Church has been advocating the universal diocese idea for years. I missed that! I really buoys my spirits. I’ll be honest: I’d rather have Cardinal Herranz on my side than, say, Victor or Michael C. from this list! Now I must note the on-line find so that the Patricks of the future can’t deny it all in the future.


  73. B. says:

    I for one don’t doubt that Rome was suggesting a Personal Apostolic Administration to the SSPX. But I’m doubting that Rome was ready to go through with it.
    They also promised one that would span over all of Brazil to the SSJV, and then shortly before the deal was done it was reduced to Campos. If Rome wasn’t willing to step up to the Brazilian bishops (or was happy to have an excuse not to go through with it) then why should we believe it would be willing to step up to the French, German and US bishops who are far more intransigent (and have control over a lot of money that goes to Rome)?

  74. Patrick says:


    It’s funny to me that your entire case to support the offer of an “apostolic administration” is based on statements by Bishop Fellay. Especially, when Card. Castrillon Hoyos wrote specifically because of the lack of truth in statements coming from the SSPX and Bp. Fellay. He wrote to “clear the air” so to speak. It’s really clear that he was fed up with the lies when he wrote. He takes their direct quotations and totally refutes them. If that isn’t obvious to you from his letter, then I can’t help you. Luckily, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos is a very charitable man and offered his correction in an extremely loving manner.

    Bp. Fellay likes to tell interviewers what other people said. It’s hearsay, and he does it all the time.

    It’s great that you found a Cardinal who supports an apostolic administration, but that really doesn’t mean that one was seriously offered.

    Sorry guys, I’m just not buying it.

    Peter, perhaps you could find a way to write a bit more charitably. You seem to be rather excitable. Relax, this is only a discussion.

  75. dcs says:

    It’s funny to me that your entire case to support the offer of an “apostolic administration” is based on statements by Bishop Fellay.

    No it isn’t.

    I find it interesting that you call for charity on the one hand, but on the other hand take a position that requires one to think that Bp. Fellay is a liar. Either an apostolic administration was offered or not. If so, then Bp. Fellay is telling the truth – and so is Card. Castrillon, since he does not deny the offer. If not, then Bp. Fellay is a liar – and Card. Castrillon looks like a fool for mentioning needing to find a solution for the SSPX and the Campos solution (an apostolic administration!) in the very same paragraph.

  76. Patrick says:

    Yes, I believe that Bishop Fellay may well be lying. Given the entire letter written by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos to respond to erroneous statements (lies or mistakes?) by Bishop Fellay, I think this position is quite reasonable.

    Yes, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos mentioned Campos and the apostolic administration. He would look like a fool if he left out an offer to the SSPX of an apostolic administration. Since his letter was a very detailed statement on the entire affair, I find it hard to believe that he would have left out this significant detail, especially when he went to great pains to include many much more minor details.

  77. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    B. makes a good point. But the reason for the reduction of the S.S.J.V.’s territory was that Canon 372.2 specifically requires the consultation of the episcopal conference concerned. A parallel passage for personal prelatures (viz. 294) was waived in the case of Opus Dei’s Holy Cross structure. That was because it was to be universal and therefore to cover most or all of them. The same thing would presumably be done for any universal structure.

    I have worked on this for a long time and would hope that others on this blog would consider my judgement on this. I’ve read hundreds of analyses of the situation. I don’t think that Rome would jettison such a plan just because some bishops opposed it. The last pontificate and, even more so, the present one, has shown a strong interest in reconciling the S.S.P.X. Consider the direct mention of the S.S.P.X in the Letter to bishops accompanying “Summorum Pontificum”. Recent statements by Bishop Fellay and others suggest that Rome is still offering this structure to the Society eight years later. No, I cannot spend all day hunting them down.

    I note that, in reference I found recently, the great majority of all the curial cardinals favoured the solution. The problem has been that the S.S.P.X won’t take it.

    I am surprised at Patrick’s refusal to stand down on this, given the mountain of evidence for it out there, some of it also coming from cardinals, not just Bishop Fellay. Fellay said in 2002, “They offered us an apostolic administration, a universal diocese” and, in response to a question about the situation of the F.S.S.P. after Protocol 1411-99, “We were told that the Pope would speak in favour of the old Mass but said he would do it at the time when he would erect the S.S.P.X as an apostolic administration” (23-1-02). If Patrick or others wish to accuse Bishop Fellay of being a liar about all this, I note that, in Moral Law, the onus probandi falls on them to prove their case. There is clear evidence out there that Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos proposed this and that the idea was supported at the time by Cardinals Herranz Casado and Medina Estévez.

    One could legitimately ask why the Holy See seems to be so anxious to reconcile 500 priests who serve less then one-tenth of one per cent of the faithful. I prefer not to look for secret political reason but to take the recent popes at their word: they want unity in the Mystical Body of Christ.


  78. Patrick says:


    I’d love to see the “mountain of evidence” apart from the numerous quotations from Bishop Fellay who, as Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos noted, has a solid record of making erroneous statements. Surely, someone besides Bishop Fellay must have written or spoken about the offer.

    You might note that support for an apostolic administration by Cardinals Herranz Casado and Medina Estevez does not prove in any way that such a structure was ever actually offered. If you have quotations to the contrary, that would be most helpful.

  79. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Patrick’s latest statements:

    No, the clarification was not to respond to errors coming as you say, from Bishop Fellay, although I think that he was annoyed that Fellay had leaked the offer from the outset. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos does not say that. He only mentions heresay generally. I’m not surprised. As I’ve said many times before, there was an enormous amount of discussion about the matter at the time. In fact, the error that the press kept spreading was that Rome was offering a “personal prelature”. Fellay and others corrected this over and over again and the press couldn’t seem to get it straight. It must be mnemonic: it’s easier to remember ‘personal prelature’.

    These meetings in December of 2000 were preliminary meetings and not intended to resolve or even address all the problems. They were only an opening in a long process of negotiation. Therefore, they obviously would not discuss all the issues at stake. The apostolic administration idea was new at the time and the details had not been worked out. That’s why the item is not listed there by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. But there is another reason, as I shall explain here.

    Everything Bishop Fellay has said is consistent with what Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos writes in his list. The society of apostolic life was to be incorporated into an apostolic administration, so the two offers do not represent a contradiction. Notice that the Cardinal’s Letter is meant to clarify matters but he also implies that Bishop Fellay and others should have been more discreet about details discussed. He is clearly suggesting there that they should have kept quiet about Rome’s offer of the apostolic administration. In the commentary which follows, he outlines what they have aleady agreed on, but nowhere, in this clarification, does he deny that Rome has offered an apostolic administration. Now, I ask you, if the Cardinal wished to clarify matters, why would he not deny such a HUGE rumour? I suggest that he was annoyed that Fellay had revealed the offer from the outset (since some liberal prelates had reacted against it) but could not deny it. So he tried to do some ‘damage control’ by listing what had been firmly resolved. That’s about it. Later, there is more and more evidence of the offer from the ‘Roman side’. Clearly, it was debated among the cardinals at the time, and most of them favoured it (which is why the Campos got one so soon afterwards).

    This explanation is plasible. Fr. Aulagnier did not the leave the S.S.P.X over its refusal to accept a purely imaginary offer. Why not ask him about this? He has a webpage on-line and will be quite open about his reasons. I know what they are because he was very forthcoming about it at the time. Come on, Patrick, be reasonable on this. The evidence is overwhelming.


  80. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Patrick:

    The mountain of evidence can be found by gleaning the archives of ctngreg, where the issue was discussed to death. Why, once again, did Fr. Aulagnier leave the S.S.P.X? He said why clearly: because the S.S.P.X rejected the offer of the apostolic administration.

    Patrick writes this: “Yes, I believe that Bishop Fellay may well be lying”. First, he tells us that Bishop Fellay is “bending” the truth. Now he tells us that he “may well be” lying. Why this disingenous approach? The words of Bishop Fellay are as clear as a bell: “They offered us an apostolic administration, a universal diocese”. Was he lying there or not?

    If you want to call someone a liar, especially a Bishop, prove it or stand down. I wonder how our esteemed moderator would react if I claimed that one of the cardinals was a liar?

    As for the two other cardinals, the references I found show that they favoured the structure back in 2000. True, they don’t mention it for the S.S.P.X, but, if it was not for the S.S.P.X, who on earth were they considering it for? There were no negotiations with the Campos people back then. Cardinal Herranz Casado said later that he would like one, eventually for all of us.


  81. Patrick says:


    I am thinking that perhaps you did not bother to read Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos’ letter.

    You said: “No, the clarification was not to respond to errors coming as you say, from Bishop Fellay, although I think that he was annoyed that Fellay had leaked the offer from the outset. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos does not say that. He only mentions heresay generally.”

    Yet, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos is not addressing “heresay.” He directly addresses no less than 16 QUOTATIONS from letters and published interviews from Bishop Fellay and the superior of the SSPX seminary. How are the 16 quotations “heresay”???

    Let’s look at one other piece of evidence. Why on earth does Bp. Fellay say this: “Questioned about that possibility in January (2006), Bishop Fellay replied: “I am almost sure that it [an apostolic administration] will be granted to us.” But neglect to mention that such a thing had been offered in the past!?!?

    Why does Bishop Fellay say this in the Remnant in 2007:

    “a. Has the Society of St. Pius X been actively engaged in reviewing the contents or basic structure and contents of this juridical framework?

    b. If so, could you share with our readers any of the contents of this proposed juridical framework. Will it be similar to a military ordinariate or an apostolic administration?

    A: No. The Vatican has never brought us any kind of blueprint of our future structure. The only thing they said in 2003, it was something between an apostolic administration, a personal prelature and a military ordinariate. So it was something in between these. They said they didn’t have a name for it. This was the only thing we know. We don’t know much, and since then, we have never had any concrete discussions on this topic.”

    That doesn’t sound like something had been offered at all. It sounds like something might be offered in the future. Even Bishop Fellay can’t get his story straight. “No, the vatican has never brought us any kind of blueprint of our future structure.”

    Again, you have yet to offer one shred of evidence (aside from Bishop Fellay’s own statements) that indicates that an apostolic administraion was offered to the SSPX in 2000 or 2001.

  82. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:


    Once again, don’t you think it odd that Rome offered and granted the ‘personal’ apostolic administration structure to the Campos for 25 priests but did not, in your view, offer the same thing a year earlier for the 500 priests of the S.S.P.X? Wouldn’t Rome offer to the S.S.P.X universally (since it exists universally) what it would offer to a small group in Brazil? And why does Bishop Fellay continue to this day to refer to this offer in order to explain why he is declining it?

    Now, add that to the quotations of Bsp. Fellay and others, and add that to the departure of Fr. Aulagniner in 2003 and the reason he gave for that. Yes, it is a mountain of evidence which Rome has never denied, even in a clarification on the matter.

    Castrillón Hoyos, in December of 2000, upbraids the S.S.P.X for not keeping the negotiations confidential and then reveals what has been agreed on. But he never denies the huge claim of Bishop Fellay that what was agreed on was an apostolic administration. Doesn’t that seem odd to you? Look at Cardinal Castrillón’s opening words in the one and only document of 5-4-02 which you have been able to find in an attempt to support your case:

    “Until today, for my part, I have never agreed to grant interviews on the subject, in order to maintain the privacy of the details of our dialogue: for me, they have had a provisional and discreet character. . . .” Translation: you let the cat out of the bag, Fellay. How dare you? Do you realise what trouble this has caused me when the liberal prelates reacted? This is pure diplomaticspeak. Can’t you recognise it?

    To continue: “. . . It now seems to me opportune, for the love of truth, to clarify here several apsects of the development of this reconciliation”. Note, Patrick, the adjective “several”: he is not claiming that his clarification is exhaustive. He then goes on to list some points of agreement. But he never once denies Bishop Fellay’s claim that a personal apostolic administration was offered. Now don’t you think that to be odd given all the debate generated in the press over this offer at the time (such as the quotation I gave in full on this blog)? Clearly, the pupose of his clarification is to calm the waters at Rome and assure liberal prelates that no final agreement has been reached on an apostolic administration. At that point, it was offered but not settled, since the S.S.P.X had not agreed to take it!

    And what is it you think they still won’t take in 2008 (according to recent statements from Bishops Fellay and Williamson)? Merely a society of apostolic life? Why would Rome offer that to them alone when it has been a foregone conclusion from the outset?


  83. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    On Patrick’s latest comments.

    First of all, by heresay, I merely meant that the Cardinal never says that he wishes to deny any specific claim made by Bishop Fellay. I apologise for not being more precise.

    Patrick says this:

    “Let’s look at one other piece of evidence. Why on earth does Bp. Fellay say this: “Questioned about that possibility in January (2006), Bishop Fellay replied: “I am almost sure that it [an apostolic administration] will be granted to us.” But neglect to mention that such a thing had been offered in the past.”

    No, Patrick, the reason that Bishop Fellay is so sure of what will be granted is because it has already been offered. The reason he neglects to mention the prior offer here is that the offer was never worked out in detail or made official. There is a huge difference between a proposal made by the Cardinal and a formal offer made by the Pope after consultation with his cardinals. But you can’t get to the latter if you refuse the former, and that is what relates to my point about the state of necessity having ended, since Fellay refuses even to discuss this offer.

    As I have said time and time again, an exempt, universal, personal and ordinary structure was the essence of the offer. The suggestion of Rome in 2000 was a personal apostolic administration, which is why this was later granted to the Campos–only one year later. But the exact structure was never agreed to formally because Fellay declined it before the details could be worked out and, in fact, even cut off all discussions. In fact, according to Fellay, he has had no formal discussion with Rome now for years, only exchanges of cards and such.

    Your closing comments actually support exactly what I am saying, but note the date. Fellay claimed that the apostolic administration structure was offered in 2000. In this last quotation, the reference is to what Rome is considering in 2003. 2000 and 2003 are different years: they are three years apart. Hence there is zero inconsistency here.

    I have said from the beginning that the original offer was never developed but that it would be an ordinary and universal and personal and exempt structure. Your quotation from the Remant confirms that completely. An apostolic administration ‘ad personam’ is equivalent in law to a diocese, but there are other possibilities in Canons 368 to 372. Details never discussed would involve, for example, the exact relation between the S.S.P.X and the various religious orders affiliated with it.

    Resolved: Rome offered a personal apostolic administration in 2000 but the Society declined to discuss the details or to negotiate. In 2003, Rome renewed the offer of a similiar structure but without naming it pending resolution of the same details. I don’t see any inconsistency here.

    In fact, you have helped to prove my case. Rome offered them independence from the local bishops in 2000 AND THEN OFFERED IT AGAIN in 2003. On both occasions, Fellay has refused to negotiate. This supports my argument that he is being offered liberty from the bishops in order to fulfil the Society’s mission. Therefore, the state of necessity is ended. It follows that, in Moral Law, he must consider the offer and accept it if it is for real.

    Viva il Papa!


  84. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Here’s a quote from Barbara Schoeneberger, M.A.:

    “In the year 2000 when the SSPX was offered a Personal Apostolic Administration (PAA) by Pope John Paul II, Father Aulagnier was of the opinion that the SSPX should accept the offer given by Rome to regularize the situation between the Church and the Society and did not keep this opinion secret. When the Union of Saint John Vianney in Brazil, a priestly society started by the emeritus bishop of Campos (de Castro Mayer) in the early 1980s and with ties to the SSPX, was reconciled with Rome and given the PAA structure in 2002, Father Aulagnier supported the move. The Saint John Vianney PAA is now headed by Bishop Fernando Rifan, one of the original priests of the former Union and the only bishop in the world in full communion with Rome who has been ordained specifically and solely in and for the 1962 Traditional Rites.

    I wonder where Mrs. Schoenberger heard this? She must have dreamed it.


  85. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Before we all got derailed by Patrick’s denial of the obvious, I had been pointing out that the Transalpine Redemptorists have reached the same conclusion: the state of necessity and its supplied jurisdiction have now lapsed because, in the words of Frs. Michael Mary and Anthony Mary, an “ordinary structure” has been offered to it. It is warming to see that, according to them, the Holy Father intervened personally to support their reconciliation.

    Now, it’s true that “ordinary” here might not mean a particular church, equivalent in law to a diocese. But this would be necessary in order, at least, to end the state of necessity for the Redemptorists themselves. I don’t think that Rome is offering a worldwide ordinary structure just for 35 monks, although it might be suggesting one for all traditionalists, including the Redemptorists, something favoured by canonist Julián Cardinal Herranz Casado, who retired this year as President of the P.C.L.T.

    I think it likely that Rome is offering these Redemptorists a territorial abbacy or priory under Canon 370. This is pure speculation on my part. I admit that. I think that it will include or be confined to their motherhouse monastery on the Island of Papa Stronsay. This would hardly limit at all the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Aberdeen because nobody can just stroll in to that isolated island to hear Mass. So they could just detach the tiny island from the Diocese of Aberdeen. It is in the Orkney Islands in the North Sea, off the north coast of Scotland.

    Incidentally, I looked up the island and its history on the Internet last night. Really fun stuff. It has the ruins of a chapel on it from the eleventh century, and was inhabited continuously from about the eighth century until the 1970s. The Redemptorists bought it in 1999 and have about 25 monks there now. Check on line for some fascinating pictures of it and even a video on something called You-Tube. The island is three miles in circumference, 1,300 yards long and 1,100 yards wide, not counting an odd peninsula called the Gaarth. It has a lake in it which is 400 yards long and 300 yards wide. There are archæological digs there and the remains of two chapels. The Redemptorists have detached cells for each monk. They are adding a greenhouse. Apparently, the soil is very rich and can support vegetation in this fairly barren region of Scotland. The monks also wish to add a cheese-making operation. They have a barn with animals. I believe that the barn and old house were left by the former residents. There is a graveyard which has been used for many centuries. The monks rely on a sturdy-looking private boat for access; it looks like a small tugboat. The larger Stonsay is only half a mile away but the winds frequently blow up to 100 miles per hour in the Papa Sound. It’s all quite fascinating. Once a year, the monks participate in a boat race with locals from the neaby islands.

    It is possible, under Canon 370, that such an abbacy nullius could be a discontinuous territory which would include its new monastery in the Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand. I am a bit doubtful, though, that Rome would grant that. Its monastery in N.Z. *is* a place where anyone could just stroll in to hear Mass, so I don’t think that the Bishop there would be agreeable to that.

    Comments? It’s exciting to think that, under one arrangement or another, the Transalpine Redemptorists will probabaly soon be reconciled. I intend to pray for such a reconciliation on this the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, a feast which simply cannot be celebrated on the Sunday following.


  86. Patrick says:


    It’s not hard to figure that Rome would not grant a universal ap. adm. but would grant a localized one. It upsets waaaaaay fewer bishops. That should be obvious.

    Who is Barbara Schoeneberger?

    It would be great if you had some source, like say, the Vatican that supports this. Fellay’s own words seem to indicate otherwise. Unless you can provide some evidence other than random internet posters or Bishop Fellay, we should just drop it.

  87. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Patrick:

    The reason that the Vatican has not made an official announcement about it is indicated quite clearly in the very quotation you furnished by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. He expresses annoyance that Bishop Fellay and others have let the cat out of the bag. He did not want it bandied about in 2000 because he was trying to get the proposal past the curia. The Pope obviously empowered him to make the offer *in general terms* but probably did not want this to become the focus of opposition from within the curia. Is that not a reasonable explanation?

    But another blogger here has furnished us with a later quotation, after Bishop Fellay blabbed, in which the Cardinal certainly does indicate that the offer was real. We now also know that, around that time, two other prominent cardinals were proposing that same structure. One of them proposed that it be accorded to all of us, which has always been my position.

    I have supplied the names of various sources for this information, and I note yet again that, in his clarification regarding all the reports, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos NEVER DENIES that the personal apostolic administration was offered. What sort of clarification is it which does not deny the reports you are purporting to address?

    Barbara Schoeneberger is another traditionalist ‘player’ who is very well respected. Others on this blog could tell us more about her. I have read her analyses many times over the years. Until I found her quotation, I was unaware that she had made this statement. So it comes in as information supplementary to what I had originally.

    I notice how you have never once responded to my statements about Fr. Aulagnier. I challenge you to contact him (he has a blog or a website) and simply ask him why he left the S.S.P.X in 2003. He will tell you now what he told the world then.

    I am content to drop this–if you will–because I am convinced that most readers of these messages agree with my assessment. The S.S.P.X was indeed offered a p.a.a. in 2000 and, when they declined, the EXACT SAME STRUCTURE was not only offered by given to the Campos only one year later. Coincidence? Not a chance.

    On your opening comments, I have already explained that the Campos was not originally to have been local but was to cover all of Brazil. It was confined to just the Campos diocesan territory (plus two or three nearby chapels) because (a) that’s as far as it was operating and (b) under Canon 372.2, the bishops conference must be consulted. The Brazilian Bishops Conference was consulted and hit the roof. That’s why it was confined to such a small territory in the end. (If you also want proof on this, I believe someone posted something on it here or on th S.P. blog recently.)

    But, in the case of international structures, that provision is normally waived, because it is too impractical to consult all the bishops’ conferences in such cases. That is why it was waived for the Opus Dei struture. You do have a valid point in saying that there would be more episcopal opposition to an international structure but no more than the opposition to “Summorum Pontificum”, which we now have. It is clear that Benedict XVI has bent over backwards to accommodate the S.S.P.X; hence he even mentions it and its position in his Leter to the Bishops which accompanied S.P. Trust me, Patrick, in the recent reports, when Rome insists that the Society be regularised before discussions ensure on doctrine, she is not suggesting that the Society be accorded only what the F.S.S.P. already has.

    I urge you to consider all the evidence and arguments I have presented and, in a spirit of Christian charity which does not call Bishop Fellay a liar, you concede like a gentleman that Rome has apparently offered and still offers an international and ordinary structure to the Society.

    I just don’t see Bishop Fellay as a liar. He might have a good imagination but he’d have to be lying to say what he says in the quotations I’ve given–or else he’s telling the truth. I am sure that Fr. Z. would censor me in a hearbeat (or any of the few real traditionalists on this list) if I called any bishop a liar on this blog. Why are you being allowed to get away with this?

    I have given a perfectly good explanation which accounts for all the facts and leaves Bsp. Fellay as an honest man. Once again, unless you can furnish evidence that he is a liar, I challenge you to do the right thing and withdraw your charge.


  88. Patrick says:


    I can see we’re on opposite sides here and will likely not come to a resolution.

    I am less than impressed with Bishop Fellay’s character for a number of reasons, among them the multiple insteances where he makes a claim only to be refuted later. So, no, I don’t find him trustworthy, and I find his statements to be oddly opposed to each other. The fact that I have raised the possibility that Bishop Fellay might be lying should not alarm you. After all, he has much bigger problems to deal with.

    I pray that he may be reconciled to the Church. But at this point, I really don’t see that happening, which is very unfortunate. I predict that over time Society priests will come home, but that their leadership will remain obstinate in their schism. It’s a shame, really, they could do so much more good if they were united to the Holy Father and the Body of Christ.

  89. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Patrick:

    You are not very specific about the inconsistencies in Bishop Fellay’s comments. In the case in hand, he said on many instances what was offered and went on to explain it in detail in one interview. That is not the same as making some small mistakes and errors. He must be either an honest man with good intentions or an out-and-out liar. I don’t see the evidence that he is a liar, so, in Catholic charity, we are required in Moral Law to assume that he was telling the truth. Moreover, I have furnished other evidence to show that what was offered was what he claimed was offered, and Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, expressing an intent to clarify, never denied this offer for one instant. Once again, I urge you to withdraw your comment that Fellay is lying about the apostolic administration.

    On your second paragraph, I agree with you that Fellay has recently, yet again, discouraged any reconciliation. But I wouldn’t be quite so negative about the prospects. The S.S.P.X is in a serious situation now, thanks to the continuing offer of the personal apostolic administration from 2000 and thanks to “Summorum Pontificum”. Fellay is trying to keep the S.S.P.X together. But, in trying to keep the hardliners in, he just might lose even more from the more moderate part of his organisation (e.g. the Translpine Redemptorists are now negotiating).

    If the Pope grants the universal and personal ordinary structure to all of us, as urged by Julián Cardinal Herranz Casado, the S.S.P.X is in big trouble. I think that a huge faction in it would reconcile separately, or threaten to do so until Fellay relented. Meanwhile, various affiliated religious orders would enter it. Williamson will try to stop a deal. He has little to lose at the age of 69. The other Society bishops (aged in their fifties and one, Tissier, at 61) must think of the future for them–if there is one.

    I think that a reconciled S.S.P.X sine its hardliner lunatics could do much good in the Church in our time. A fractured and unreconcilied S.S.P.X, on the other hand, will disappear as Summorum Pontificum Masses put its chapels out of business one by one.


  90. Patrick says:

    Peter wrote:

    “If the Pope grants the universal and personal ordinary structure to all of us, as urged by Julián Cardinal Herranz Casado, the S.S.P.X is in big trouble. I think that a huge faction in it would reconcile separately, or threaten to do so until Fellay relented. Meanwhile, various affiliated religious orders would enter it. Williamson will try to stop a deal. He has little to lose at the age of 69. The other Society bishops (aged in their fifties and one, Tissier, at 61) must think of the future for them—if there is one.

    I think that a reconciled S.S.P.X sine its hardliner lunatics could do much good in the Church in our time. A fractured and unreconcilied S.S.P.X, on the other hand, will disappear as Summorum Pontificum Masses put its chapels out of business one by one.”

    I agree with your assessment. I think it will likely be the latter scenario. There are too many who will see Bishop Fellay’s action (if he attempts reconciliation) as a betrayal of tradition.

  91. Dominic says:

    Dear P.K.T.P, I would be interested in contacting you outside this forum about some of these topics. Drop me a line to this temporary email: Thanks.

  92. Petrus Radii says:

    The SSPX was most certainly offered the opportunity to take the helm of a Traditionalist Apostolic Administration, which would have been worldwide. A former district superior of the SSPX in Germany told me personally. But his statement as to why they declined was actually very reasonable. Rome wanted to shove off ALL Traditionalist issues onto the SSPX Ap. Admin. The Society was not in a practical position to address, nor willing to take moral responsibility for, the huge spectrum of individuals and splinter groups who would have come under their purview, from the Indult Masses to sede-vacantists.

    Not least among their concerns was that Liberals and Neo-Con Catholics would try to blame the SSPX for the lurking problems of seemingly rampant homosexualism in the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. While the ICKSP have thus far been able to bully bishops and others into protecting them through lies and deceit, it is only a matter of time before the widespread problems become more public—and with serious legal and moral repercussions. This is not speculation with regard to the ICK, but verifiable truth. The ICK need to be suppressed.

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