Can we really even for a moment delude ourselves that Old Scratch is not going to try to sabotage closer ties between the Bishop of Rome and the SSPX?

Spiritual warfare is being waged constantly for our souls.  The enemy, fallen angels, desire our downfall and division with so much malice that they will never relent until the Coming of the Lord.

Think about it, people.  We are not talking about mere insurgents or terrorists or guerrilla fighters.  We are talking about angels.

They will attack Christ’s Church which he gave us for our salvation.  They will tear at her unity and undermine her visible head, Christ the true Head’s Vicar, the Bishop of Rome.

They will lie in wait with angelic patience, ingenuity and powers beyond human imagining to attack the Church especially through her priests … and their discord.

But we have angel guardians and the saints in heaven.  We have our baptismal character and the sacrament of confirmation.  We can be strong in the face of these attacks. 

You can be strong for bishops and priests who are in need.

And lest there be any doubt, WDTPRSers have at least one priest who will say Mass for the good outcome of what Pope Benedict has initiated.

Tomorrow morning at 1230 UTC – 1430 CET – 0830 EDT I will say Mass inviting you all, as I did today, to pray in a special way for about 40 minutes or so after that starting time.  Ask your angel guardians to be present and also to defend Bp. Bernard Fellay and anyone else in his confidence from the attacks of the Enemy. 

He must be in a terribly difficult position and in need of spiritual support.

O God our Father, merciful and almighty,
whose Only-begotten Son took up our human nature
to save us from our sins and to teach us who we are,
under the protection of Holy Mary’s mantle
and the vigilant aegis of Your holy angels,
bring all your priests into closer unity with the Bishop of Rome
in the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    As an SSPX supporter, I agree that Bsp. Fellay is in need of spiritual support. He is indeed in an awful position, but not one of his making. Thank you for asking for prayers for him, and I ask that everyone also pray that the Church hierarchy returns to Tradition ASAP.

  2. Ann says:

    I’m praying and asking my friends to pray for the Holy Father and all Priests that they draw closer to the Bishop of Rome and that those who have strayed will return to full communion.

  3. Corboy says:

    Maybe we could do an online 9hr Novena?
    I pray that they accept.

  4. Ignatius says:

    I know as fact Old Scratch wants division. I know that it is partly due to the SSPX that the Holy Father issued Summorum Pontificum. I know that there are probably those who do not want the SSPX to reconcile with Rome, but the truth of the matter is that the SSPX needs to submit. Even if they are not technically in schism, they are obstinate and presume to know better than the Holy Father.

    If they do not submit, especially with the particular care the Holy Father has shown them, I have no sympathy for them.

  5. Latter-day Guy says:

    As a non-Catholic, I guess I really don’t have a horse in this race. However, I just wanted to say how impressed I am with the seriousness with which traditional Catholics take the unity of the church.

    I truly, truly hope that the Lord answers your prayers in the affirmative.

  6. Sacramento Mom says:

    Latter-Day guy: Thank you for this hope and well wishes. I take it you are a Mormon. I am a Catholic converted from Mormonism. Not to go too off-topic but I hope you do seriously consider investigating the Catholic Church. By the way, you do have a horse in this race: Who are our Guardian Angels?
    No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to His Angels God has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
    Psalm 91: 10-12 A heavenly spirit assigned by God to watch over each of us during our lives. The doctrine of angels is part of the Church’s tradition. The role of the guardian angel is both to guide us to good thoughts, works and words, and to preserve us from evil. Since the 17th century the Church has celebrated a feast honoring them in October throughout the Universal Church. Since the last calendar revision this feast is Oct 2.

    He has charged His angels with the ministry of watching and safeguarding every one of His creatures that behold not His face. Kingdoms have their angels assigned to them, and men have their angels; these latter it is to whom religion designates the Holy Guardian Angels. Our Lord says in the Gospel, “Beware lest ye scandalize any of these little ones, for their angels in heaven see the face of My Father.” The existence of Guardian Angels, is, hence a dogma of the Christian faith: this being so, what ought not our respect be for that sure and holy intelligence that is ever present at our side; and how great our solicitude be, lest, by any act of ours, we offend those eyes which are ever bent upon us in all our ways!

    Please pray to your Guardian Angel as I will as well that he who beholds the face of God may guard you and guide you to the true faith so you may understand and hopr from the Bosom of Holy Mother Church.

    We are praying here Father Z.

  7. Larry says:

    Fr. Z you are quite correct. And the hour is late and the cause urgent; but, this is only one aspect of the attack. There are many huge battles that are coming to a head at this time. Just look at the world in general, and the United States in particular and you see that Satan is not only trying to divide the Church; he is trying also to destroy America as well. These are very important times. Prayer is our only hope.

  8. Sacramento Mom says:

    Unity Converts Hearts!!!

  9. Jenny Z says:

    Lord, hear our prayers.

  10. Father M says:

    You’re certainly not alone, Father Z. I too will be offering Mass tomorrow that God bring to completion the good work he has started through Pope Benedict.

  11. Father M says:

    You are certainly not alone, Fr. Z. Tomorrow, I also will be offering holy Mass with the intention that God bring to completion the good work begun by Pope Benedict.

  12. Atlanta says:

    Wow, Fr. Z., this is intense. You are definitely in my prayers. Old Scratch? I haven’t heard that one before. That’s witty. :-)

  13. Atlanta says:

    Fr. M., your link doesn’t work.

  14. Kradcliffe says:

    OK… I don\’t know what CET means… is that Central European Time/The time in Rome?

    And, I am honestly not stupid, but time zones confuse me, especially during summertime. Could someone please help me and tell me what time this will be in the UK? (Which is not GMT, apparently, due to British Summertime. Gah!)

    In fact, if there are any clever monkeys out there who can do a list of cities with times like one of those those \”Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, New York\” clocks in airports, I would be so very grateful.

  15. You may use this website:

    The UTC time is after the cities list, so you can see the hour difference.

  16. Warren Anderson says:

    Let’s hope and pray for the best outcome, but prepare for the worst in the event of a rejection by the SSPX. Saint Michael, Archangel, captain of the armies of God, defend us! May we all be humble enough to conform to the will of God.

  17. Diane says:

    Glad I checked in – I’m an hour away from Mass time at a parish right next to work where I sometimes go to weekday Mass. I’ll offer my Mass intentions for this purpose, along with the intentions during my Liturgy of the Hours today. I’ll also pause at 8:30 wherever I’m at.

    The mark of the priesthood is in the cross-hairs of the Angel of Darkness. When he can successfully lead a priest astray, Satan knows he will get so many more than if he goes after ordinary laymen.

  18. Calleva says:

    OK, so Katie and I need to pray at 1.30 pm UK time… thanks for the link Jonathan, it’s most useful.
    Fr Z – thanks for your dedication in emphasising the importance of this. It is fully in harmony with our Holy Father’s will – I read that after failing to bring in the SSPX the then Cardinal Ratzinger broke down and wept. He has admitted that he’s impressed with the quality of their seminarians and what good they could do within the fold.

    I’ve been reading elsewhere on the net how some SSPXers feel – and I despair. There truly is an intense spiritual warfare going on out there and it is bound up with the life and soul of the Church today.

    Incidentally, perhaps we could also fast for this intention. I’m going to skip a meal today.

  19. Kradcliffe says:

    Calleva! Who are you and how do you know my name? LOL
    Anyway, thanks for telling me the hour to pray. That was what I needed.

    I am praying for all the Bishops involved, as well as all the priests and laity involved.

  20. Paul says:

    I shall be praying.

  21. JR says:

    Praying with you – offering my holy hour today.

  22. Woody Jones says:

    Also adding my humble prayers to those of Fr Z and all others here.

    As one who has a tremendous amount of sympathy and respect for the SSPX and its members (and the Third Order, as well), I can only note that in addition to the fact that the Church badly needs all the SSPX-ers fully on the inside to pursue the good fight more efficaciously from that position, the SSPX and its followers also need to consider that continuing the present situation longer runs the grave risk that there will be a more or less permanent rift, I think akin to that of the Old Believers in the Russian Orthodox Church, who have been on the outside for 300+ years, and are only just now being slowly reconciled to the Moscow Patriarchate.

  23. caleb1x says:

    Reuters news is reporting Bishop Fellay’s “No” to the conditions:

  24. Oliver says:

    Save your prayers; save your Masses; we are too familar with Vatican politics and posturing. The dark ploys of liberals and liberalism are hardly going to impress those seasoned warriors in Econe; it will take more than the cunning bureaucracy of a Ratzinger or the play-acting of a Hoyos to match their stature. We have here an impossible exchange between flippant modernist superficiality and the substance of tradition.

  25. rick says:

    I will pray too that this “separation” between Rome and the SSPX end, but it is quite clear how Bishop Bernard Fellay pf the SSPX intends to respond to the Papacy on the matter of the Five Points. All one needs to do is listen to his sermon which he gave last week at the Ordinations of several men to the deaconate in Winona. It can be listened carefully and you will hear just exactly how Bishop Fellay intends to respond to the Pope:

  26. Chironomo says:

    The Reuters article doesn’t really report on any “news”… it just re-iterates his longstanding positions. Nobody (here at least) doubts that the SSPX has some very strong views concerning errors in the Church. Many within the Church feel the same way. Would not their efforts bear more fruit from within the Church? I am with those who feel that passing on this “invitation” would constitute the beginning of the end of the SSPX as a voice within the Catholic Church.

  27. Tomás López says:

    Calleva is on to something:

    “But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.” Mt 17:20

  28. John6:54 says:

    Oliver your tone is very prideful. Check yourself you sound like a Pharisee before Christ.

  29. Jordanes says:

    Oliver’s comments here show just how necessary our prayers are.

  30. Ron says:

    It makes me so sad to think of the situation with SSPX because so many of them love Our Lord and His Church…and we really need them. I’m tired of looking around and seeing even “orthodox” catholics attaching the traditional liturgy and being taken in by novel ideas, as if now the whole world is open to them. We need holy men and women who won’t cave in, who will remain true to the unchanging Faith, who will live a life in but not of the world. I think the Church needs those in SSPX who aren’t crazy radicals but true Catholics. We have far too many heterodox “catholics” who get to remain “in” the Church…we now need more faithful, traditional Catholics. May Our Lord help Bsp. Fellay who seems like such a holy Catholic Bishop.

    Pax Christi tecum.

  31. Fr. Jeremiah Payne says:

    I am offering daily masses here at my parish for the intention of this unity. I am also informing the people entrusted to my care about this situation and asking them to pray and fast for the Unity of the Church and for humility on both sides.

  32. Calleva says:

    I think we need to focus not only on the clergy but the laity – some of the most virulent seem to be lay people and there needs to be a softening and changing of hearts, especially in the matter of obedience.

    It would be so wonderful if the SSPX could come on side – imagine giving St Joan of Arc parish in Minnesota to an SSPX priest…. ;)
    St Pius X – pray for us
    Our Lady Patroness of the SSPX – pray for us
    St Athanasius – pray for us
    St Bernard – pray for us
    St Michael the Archangel – pray for us
    St Pio, model of priestly obedience – pray for us
    St Peter – pray for us
    all you holy angels and saints pray for us

    Kradcliffe – I really didn’t know your first name, it was a misreading of your signature. Most bizarre!
    Regards, Clare Anderson

  33. Mark S. says:

    I’m also praying that the SSPX will accept this opportunity. My big worry is that if SSPX reject the present offer, the Vatican won’t make another offer in a hurry, and their present irregular situation will be in danger of pecoming permanent. Opinions will become too entrenched on either side. Also, although there is disagreement as to whether they are “schismatic” (some comments from Rome imply they may not be), often, what people believe to be true is more significant that what the truth actually is. If they (SSPX) were to reject this offer, it would harden the perception in the Church that they are schismatic and disobedient, reducing the possibility of any positive influence they could have.

  34. Mark S. says:

    Sorry about the odd spelling mistakes in my previous post – dyslexic finger.

  35. Rachel says:

    I concur with everyone here. My fiance was a seminarian at the SSPX seminary in Winona, MN. He discovered that he didn’t have a vocation about 2 years in. However, he has strong ties with some of the people who went there and both of us feel strongly that this division needs to heal. So, we will offer our rosaries for this intention. This is the hopefully the first step towards regularization but I, like some have spoken on here especially Calleva, are concerned about the virulent attitudes that some of the laity who go to SSPX chapels express. Nothing seems to satisfy them and they continue to complain. I hope that there will be softening of hearts and humility. I believe that the sin of pride is at the root of this problem and as we know, it is the deadliest of the 7.

  36. Matt says:

    We need to heed the scriptural warning: of people saying “peace, peace”
    “when there is no peace”.

    The Church must deal with the fundamental questions first, before pressuring
    the SSPX to join the party.

    The state of the RCC is still a complete mess in the experience of many
    if not most lay people. This chaos is to such an extent that the “irregular”
    state of the SSPX looks like sanity compared to the “regular” state of
    most educational institutions, diocesan centres, retreat houses,
    and parished in “full communion” with Rome.

    Until Rome addresses this paradox, then what benefit is an agreement?

  37. Matt’s comments remind me of why I stay in my parish, though there is not complete orthodoxy taught there all the time. It’s because it is my parish, and I’m supposed to be obedient to my pastor (unless he is asking me to go against my well-formed conscience or dissent from the Church). I’m not supposed to parish-hop or even rite-hop until I find a parish that’s the best in town for orthodoxy. How will the situation here improve if every family who is faithful leaves? What happens when all the faithful adults who have been well-catechized leave a parish and all that’s left are those who don’t know any better? Will the catechesis improve? Will anyone be left to defend the Faith?

    SSPX complains of the Holy Mother Church (and many often seem to act as though the Church isn’t the One, True Church guided by the Holy Spirit), and they leave.

    The whole situation, both on the parish level as well as the level of the Church as a whole, makes me very sad. I’ll be praying this week for the unity of our Church on all fronts: SSPX, the Orthodox, etc.

  38. Father, I have translated into Portuguese the prayer on the “5 conditions post”. Since the combox was closed, I am posting it here:

    “Ó Deus, nosso Pai comum que nos conheceis melhor que nós mesmos,
    derramai vossas graças através do Espírito Santo nos corações dos membros da SSPX para dobrar o que for duro e aquecer o que for frio,
    para que, em união com o Vigário de Cristo,
    a quem Vosso Filho Nosso Senhor deu Vossa própria autoridade para ligar e desligar, e que foi dado como presente para a Igreja como um ponto visível de unidade,
    possamos, unidos em caridade eclesial, lutar com graça e zelo para renovar Vosso povo na nossa Santa Igreja Católica.

  39. Be sure, Father, that more priests will be offering masses for this outcome. Father Tiago, my “virtual pastor”, is one of them.

  40. Matt says:


    What do you mean by “orthodoxy” not being taught all the time?

    If this is from the pastor, then your duty is to jump ship my friend.

    It would be false obedience to stay and give moral support to a
    dissenter. That is not a virtue but a terrible vice. Obedience
    exists within a heirarchy of virtues…by it self it is not a
    virtue at all.

    If the priest is solid, but the parishoners are bad, then fight the
    good fight,

  41. Ignatius says:

    Well, the SSPX is in an irregular state, but Fellay isn’t. He’s a schismatic plain and simple.

    Those in the SSPX should not follow schismatics.

    If you want to speak of Tradition, see the article on “schism” by the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    You should pity schismatics, but not consider them to be holy. I concede that they may well be of good intentions, but we all know that counts for little when the Holy See makes a pronouncement.

    The SSPX are arrogant and presume when they accuse Rome of liberalism and modernism. It may be true that there are those who are not the holiest prelates, but the Church was never completely free from bad bishops. The SSPX are deluded and being led astray

    St. Jerome said, “practically and historically, heresy and schism nearly always go hand in hand; schism leads almost invariably to denial of the papal primacy.”

    Where the SSPX might not deny papal primacy explicitly they do it deny it by their disobedience and actions. They resort to the public media which is truly full of modernism and liberalism and make a spectacle of scandal throughout the world.

    Yes, pray for the SSPX, but pray for them as you would pray for any sinner, schismatic, or one who has lost their way. Do not let them use the holy Mass and Tradition as sheepskins to mask their true identity as wolves.

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