Three SSPX seminarians killed near Econe

People of good will will note with sorrow that three seminarians of the SSPX, attending the seminary in Ecône, were killed in an avalanche in nearby Nendaz.

I urge you to pray for them and for comfort for their families, friends and fellows. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Very sad, and with reconciliation so near. Do you know their names, Father?

  2. Joan Moore says:

    Lord, have mercy on their souls. May they rest in peace.

  3. don Jeffry says:

    The report from the Swiss French-language TV station:
    don Jeffry

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    Asking the intercession of Frank Parater for the souls of these young men and the comfort of their families, classmates and friends.

    Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine

  5. Mary in CO says:

    Praying, Fr. Z.

  6. Cathguy says:

    Will pray.

  7. martin says:

    Requiescant in pace.

  8. Ann says:

    oh, how terribly sad. May they rest in God’s peace.

  9. Antonio says:

    May they rest in peace.

  10. Paul Haley says:

    May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace, Amen. At the very least they died while in the service of the Lord, albeit seminarians not yet ordained. My heart goes out to their families.

  11. PMcGrath says:

    This thought occurred to me — maybe, just maybe, the three seminarians were Called Home so they could better pray, in Heaven, for the completion of the reconciliation between the Society and the rest of the Church.

  12. John Lacroix says:

    I too am saddened to hear of their deaths. “Lord, may their souls rest in peace and may they gaze upon Your face.” Catholic traditionalism is lessened by their sudden deaths.

  13. martin says:

    Dear Father Z:

    In case this can be useful. Here is my translation of the first part of today’s interview of Monseigneur Fellay with
    Famille Chrétienne:

    FC: You have mentioned the “malaise and suffering” of the Fraternity… isn’t it suicidal to remain afar from
    the Church of Rome?

    Mgr: The FSSPX’s position presents an objective danger, sociologically, from a purely human persective.
    It is the danger to remain confined within oneself. We have been so attacked that, automatically, we
    have defensive reactions. We are trying to protect ourselves and, thereby, there is a risk to remain confined within
    ourselves. We are very aware of it, and are trying to do everything we can to prevent an attitude of rupture.
    We must be careful. We are trying to take a number of measures to alleviate the danger. This is why we often
    speak of Rome and the Church (even it is in a negative way!). We never forget to pray for the Church, we are asking
    for prayers for Her. We thus remember that we are not alone. We are praying for the Pope, we are reminding that
    he his the vicar of Christ. That said, at the much deeper level of our belonging to the Church, we have never
    wanted to separate ourselves from Her. We are totally Catholic, firmly attached to the Church, and always have

    FC: A disagreement that spans across decades creates a critical situation. Some people have been baptized
    with you [NdT: the Fraternity] who have never known full unity with the Church. This is positively dangerous.
    What are the the form and the calendar of the discussions you are starting with Rome?

    Mgr: This will certainly begin promptly… I suppose that we are going to present our questions, because we
    [NdT: the Fraternity] are the ones presenting the problem! However, regarding the remainder [NdT: of the question],
    I cannot go any further, I cannot say anything. Because I do not know!

    FC: Are you accepting the Council [NdT: Vat II] with “reservations”, or are you rejecting it as a whole block?

    Mgr: One must distinguish the letter from the spirit. There is a dangerous spirit which traverses the Council, and
    in that regard we are rejecting it. But when one speaks of the letter, the issue is not about rejecting it all, as
    a block. Mgr Lefebvre himself accepted the Council “in the light of the Tradition”. What does this mean? In 1982-1983,
    he went to Rome to explain himself to cardinal Ratzinger–who refused his approach. Mgr Lefebvre was saying: “What is
    conforming to the perennial teaching we accept, what is ambiguous we receive according to this perennial teaching,
    and what is opposed we reject”.

    In his address of December 22nd, 2005, at the Curia, Benedict XVI speaks of the “hermeneutics” of the Council. He
    condemns the idea of a rupture, based on the “spirit of the Council”. Those who are in favor of the hermeneutic of
    rupture, how many are they today? A few? Those who want this rupture with the past are they not afar from the Church?
    As Benedict XVI so aptly says it, the Church cannot separate itself from its past. It is impossible! One cannot
    have the 20th story of a house without having the 19 stories below.

    FC: The distinction between the spirit and the letter of the Council may be specious because, insofar as a Fr. de Lubac
    as been able to denounce the perversion of the climate that was surroundering the Council, just as much does the
    true spirit of the Council clarifies the letter and must be referred to the Holy Ghost itself! Regarding the organic continuity
    of the Tradition, this necessarily implies further developments. Of which already was speaking cardinal Newman. My fear
    today would be that the Fraterniry refuse to consider them. By blocking the Tradition, there is a danger to exit from

    Mgr: There are some points which the Pope is presenting as being in the vein of the Tradition, and which, in our eyes,
    are not.

    FC: Is it possible to sort within the assertions of the Council?

    Mgr: It is not a question of all or nothing. In my opinion, many amongst the problems we are posing are to be resolved
    through distinctions and not through absolute rejections or acceptations. We are not univoques [NdT: this is not
    exactly synonymous of unambiguous]. When we are speaking of the Council, we know that it is inscribed within a set
    of circumstances, in a context, in a movement. I am basing my argument on a note of the secretariate of the Council
    of November 1964. This text contains two parts. The first says: “The Church forces to adhere on matters of faith and
    mores only on points that She presents as such”. And this notes further asserts that the Council defines itself as
    “pastoral”. It is distinguishes itself from the others. One cannot approach it in a dogmatic manner and say AMEN to
    everything. This approach is, simply put, false. There are different domains, themes, and degrees of authority.

    FC: A council is always incomplete, it poses new questions to be resolved. Moreover, Vatican II has innovated, in the sense
    that it firstly wanted to give a positive exposition of the faith and not conclude with anathemas. There is here an
    organic development of the Tradition, which marks an unarguable advance for the Church.

    After the Motu Proprio, is the question of liturgy solved? Do you think that the Roman rite in its current form (Paul VI) is

    Mgr: The question of validity does not pose any problem in itself. As long as the form is respected. The new Mass is valid.
    The problem is presenting itself a posteriori. One notices sometimes that in the behaviour, or the word, priests and faithfuls
    do not always have faith in the eucharistic presence. This can constitute a intent that is contrary to that of the Church.

    Liturgy is a whole ensemble which accompanies the essence of the Mass. This is an ensemble of gestures, words, which accompany
    and must nourish this faith. There, we are having major objections such as, for instance, regarding the offertory: compare the
    two missals and you will understand our objections.

    FC: I would also have difficulties attending a Mass said by a priest who would not share the faith of the Church. At times, it
    has been possible to wonder. Paul VI published an encyclical on the Eucharist which had been recused by a number of people at the
    time. That was very serious.

    Regarding the rites, the discussion would be too long. We would have to examine how the liturgical reform has been done.
    It is not for nothing that cardinal Ratzinger was asking a reform of the reform. But one would also have to consider the
    value of the new rite. These come from the most authentic ecclesial tradition.

    Mgr: For Benedict XVI, the liturgical reform is one of the foremost causes of the crisis in the Church. This is strong.
    This says a lot and I am not the one saying it!

    FC: You criticize the notion of religious freedom. Why?

    Mgr: The Council has made his one of the fundamental principles of the Modern State, that is, the impartiallity between
    religions. However, for us, the State must recognize the true religion. Benedict XVI thinks, with respect to religious freedom,
    that “the Church has a rediscovered her heritage”. It is an expression that makes me jump! If the Church has rediscovered religious
    freedom, then when did She lose it!? Could She lose it? During almost 1500 years the Church has held an entirely different

    FC: There is an historical problem. The Church has undergone very different situations. A clandestine situation under the Roman
    Empire, accepted religious freedom under Constantine, and subsequently with Theodosius the Empire has become Christian.
    There is the long period of the Medieval Christendom, then the rupture of Modernity. The Church, because of history, lives
    different situations and reacts as a function of these situations. One does not react identically in an officially Christian State
    and in a regime of secularism [NdT: “laïcité” in French]. One must not be anachronistic. The notion of religious freedom is associated
    with the radical liberty of the act of faith and the religious incompetence of the secular powers. In China today, the Church
    is asking for liberty of conscience!

    Mgr: We agree entirely! Everyone understand that, in a State that is comprised of several religions, this State must legislate
    for the common good. The greatest good is the peace amongst citizens. This is what the Church calls “Christian tolerance”. It
    is a different principle.

  14. Steve K. says:

    Rest in peace.

  15. Anthony says:

    May God ordain them in heaven.

  16. Soli Deo Gloria says:

    3 on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes…praying and weeping…

  17. Matt Q says:

    Praying for the repose of their souls. Now there are three more people who can pray and intercede for us and for the Society to bring them back into the Fold.

    The Society more or less has been taking it from different sides all these years, but suddenly getting it full on in the past month must mean a blessing for them and the Church is near else all of these attacks wouldn’t suddenly be coming on so strongly.

  18. Credo says:

    Very tragic. My prayers for the souls of the three seminarians, and consolation of their families and friends. May God have mercy on them.

  19. What a terrible news!
    May they rest in peace!

  20. Manrique Zabala de Arízona says:

    RIP :(

  21. jacques says:

    These poor boys, next-to-become priests, will miss us much in France.
    I was told that once the SSPX will be in full communion with Rome, ONE THIRD of the seminarians of France
    will be taught in former SSPX\’s seminaries.
    What a renewal for the Church of France that is dying of starvation!
    I wonder how the very progressivist (and some of them arrogant) French bishops will accept this?

  22. Angelo says:

    A Tribute to the Three Seminarians of Econe
    from Vergil’s Aeneid, Book VI commenting on the
    young Marcellus.

    Quis, pater, ille, virum qui sic comitatur euntem?
    Filius, anne aliquis magna de stirpe nepotum?
    Quis strepitus circa comitum! Quantum instar in ipso!
    Sed nox atra caput tristi circumvolat umbra.’
    Tum pater Anchises, lacrimis ingressus obortis:
    `O gnate, ingentem luctum ne quaere tuorum;
    ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, neque ultra
    esse sinent. Nimium vobis Romana propago
    visa potens, Superi, propria haec si dona fuissent.
    Quantos ille virum magnam Mavortis ad urbem
    campus aget gemitus, vel quae, liberine, videbis
    funera, cum tumulum praeterlabere recentem!
    Nec puer Iliaca quisquam de gente Latinos
    in tantum spe tollet avos, nec Romula quondam
    ullo se tantum tellus iactabit alumno.

  23. Corleone says:

    Holy God, Holy Almighty, Holy and Immortal, Have mercy on their souls. You alone know the time and hour.

  24. My homage to one of the young men who died. A truly good young man.

  25. Michael Garner says:

    Fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.

  26. irishgirl says:

    Very sad to hear…may they rest in peace.

    PMcGrath-I was thinking the same thing!

  27. Their names were Jean-Baptiste Després (age 22), Raymond Guérin (22) et Michaël Sabak (20). May they rest in peace.

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