20 Years After: 30 June 1988 PRAY! PRAY NOW!

Twenty years ago today, Archbp. Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the SSPX, consecrated four men as bishops against the expressed will of Pope John Paul II.  Everyone involved, Lefebvre, the four men and co-consecrator Bp. Antonio de Castro Mayer, incurred a latae sententiae excommunication which was confirmed by the Congregation for Bishops, which has competence in the matter.  John Paul II spoke of the excommunications, and even of schism, in his 2 July 1988 Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta. 

Now we have come to the end of June. 

Lately, Card. Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, gave to Bp. Bernard Fellay, one of the four excommunicated bishops and now Superior General of the SSPX, five conditions to be agreed upon before the end of June so that fruitful dialogue could continue between the SSPX and Rome.

This is the last day of the month, the twentieth anniversary of the unhappy consecrations.

We have heard from Bp. Fellay that he wrote to Rome.

I also have heard that Card. Castrillon reacted positively.

I have no additional news.

My anticipation is informed by Christian hope for the unity of the Church.

This afternoon I will say Mass, once again, for the intention I have indicated to you elsewhere, now well known to regular readers.

I ask that you spend some time in prayer, perhaps will a penance, for the positive outcome of this most recent development.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    You & Rorate are our only reliable sources of news on this stunning development. Please continue your important work!!!

  2. Jrbrown says:

    I will remember to unite my prayers to the Sacrifice of the Mass you offer for this intention later today, as well as continue to pray for a happy outcome.

  3. Supertradmom says:

    Thank you, Father Z for this reminder to pray. Some of us will go to Adoration this evening and place this huge request for unity before Our Lord. This will be our Mass intention, as well. Sadly, but expected, there is a news blackout about this in our diocese.

  4. Calleva says:


  5. Jim says:

    I have said a prayer and offered my penance for this intention.

  6. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Please, all, pray and pray more for the FSSPX!

    My thoughts are taken back to Winona (as in Minnesota, sight of the FSSPX North American seminary) in August 1988 where some fellows were sporting T-shirts (vests for you blokes in Old Blighty) in the presence of newly consecrated Msgr. Williamson. The vestiture bore the message:

    I’m excommunicated!
    Are you jealous?
    Society of Saint Pius X

    The message was done only partly in jest. Behind it was a spirit of defiance and scorn of the Roman authorities.

    About the same time the district superiors, heads of autonomous houses, and seminary rectors of the Society composed a letter to the Roman authorities asking that they too be excommunicated as a mark of honour and pledge of solidarity with the excommunicated bishops.

    These attitudes continue in the FSSPX. Pray! Pray! Pray!

    Oh yeah…and pray that the pre-1956 Holy Week is restored by B16!!! Just a personal request. ;-)

  7. Wm Christopher Hoag,

    Why did you leave the SSPX seminary?

  8. I am not Spartacus says:

    I’m excommunicated!
    Are you jealous?
    Society of Saint Pius X

    The General Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence, 1431-45

    SESSION 9 23 March 1440

    Eugenius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, for an everlasting record. Many examples of holy fathers of the old and the new Testament warn us that we should not pass over in silence or leave completely unpunished specially grave crimes which lead to the scandal and public division of the people entrusted to us. For if we delay to pursue and avenge what is grievously offensive to God, we thereby provoke the divine patience to wrath. For, there are sins for which it is a sin to be slack about their retribution. It is indeed right and eminently reasonable, in the opinion of holy fathers, that those who despise divine commands and disobey paternal enactments should be corrected with really severe penalties, so that others may fear to commit the same faults and that all may rejoice in fraternal harmony and take note of the example of severity and probity. For if — though may it never be — we are negligent about ecclesiastical vigilance and activity, idleness ruins discipline and the souls of the faithful will suffer great harm. Therefore, rotting flesh should be cut away and mangy sheep driven out

    He cannot have God as his father if he does not hold the unity of the church if he who does not agree with the body of the church and the whole brotherhood, cannot agree with anyone. Since Christ suffered for the church and since the church is the body of Christ, without doubt the person who divides the church is convicted of lacerating the body of Christ. Hence the avenging will of the Lord went forth against schismatics like Korah, Dathan and Abiram,….

    I wonder if Korah and Dathan and Abiram wore boasting T-shirts?

  9. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese: Why did you leave the SSPX seminary?

    For many reasons, including a vocation elsewhere.

  10. B. says:

    While speaking of prayer requests, the general chapter of the Servi Jesu et Mariae (including the election of their new superior general) will begin on July 7th, certainly also something to pray for.

  11. Dominic says:

    Thank you, Father. We are united in prayer.

  12. Atlanta says:

    The SSPX are fortunate you are so merciful. If the Orthodox reinstated deaconesses (and if deaconesses were allowed to issue decrees for the church) and we had this problem, and I were a deaconess, I would say forget it, they meet on our terms, not their terms. If you want to know my further opinions on the issue please contact me through my link for I will not state them publicly.

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