As usual our friends at Rorate are on top of all things SSPX. I read on their site:
SSPX Benelux District Superior: Abp. Lefebvre “would have accepted a canonical recognition”
As a good “soldier of Christ”, who knew that he would have to one day render account to God of his episcopate, Abp. Lefebvre kept on in “the good fight” of Christ. Was he chased like a bandit? He nonetheless “followed his course”, perfectly aware that he was in the Church. He expected that one day Rome would grant him that canonical stature of which he had been unjustly deprived, but not to the detriment of the faith, or of its full and free proclamation.
He who, amidst the complete conciliar debacle, had enjoyed for a decade the official blessing of the Church would have accepted, “without any bitterness”, and without any compromise, a canonical recognition, even coming from an authority still strongly tainted by modern errors, but willing to correct the course of the great boat of the Church, “taking in water on every side”.
Yesterday I posted that the SSPX German District Superior said that Benedict was showing pastoral care and they were grateful.
Brick by brick, friends.
District Superior by District Superior.
Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.
Brick by brick…or, “Rome wasn’t (re)built in a day.”
What a reflection. What happened? Why the hardening of minds and wills on both “sides”? Holy Spirit, let it happen now.
On the grounds of insufficient groveling (oops, I mean obedience), I’m sure the Benelux Superior’s comments will be rejected by some, just as the German District Superior’s comments were. Apparently, unless the SSPX leadership is willing to fully prostrate and grovel, some will not be satisfied.
“District Superior by District Superior.” This comment is misleading and implies that the SSPX is “finally coming around” when in fact, this is what the SSPX has always been saying. Just read the stuff on sspx.org dating from 2000 with the first contacts with Rome.
Love it “brick by brick” and if this is what the SSPX has always been saying even more promising that this will become reality! My concern is from SSPX hard liners that say they will leave if this happens? Hopefully they will have a change of heart.
Prayers continuing, since it is the only thing I can do to help. I will also add fasting and abstainence tomorrow (Friday).
While there are undoubtedly imbiciles who would enjoy seeing the SSPX grovel for the sake of it, I think you should distinguish between those chaps and the ones – like me – who emphasise obedience in order to have a proper understanding of the issue at stake.
BXVI is thankfully very receptive to traditionalists. Hopefully his successors will be too. But it would not do if we get into a sequence where every time the Church takes a route traditionalists don’t like, we get a new SSPX. Desirable as full reconcilliation is, it will only last if the SSPX recognizes that authority rests with the Pope, not with them or any self-proclaimed champion of tradition.
Moreover, if only part of the SSPX fully reconcilles – sadly, that looks a likely scenario if reconcilliation is to happen – what would be the difference between the (two?) parts formally forming the SSPX? One of them finding Rome’s offer sufficient, and one not? That would be absurd, as this isnt a negotiation over who gets the biggest chunk of the pie. There are doctrinal matters that have to be (or have been) settled. And while the SSPX had a list of concerns in that sense, the Vatican will also have one: that one is not supposed to go directly against papal authority (such as happen with the illicit ordinations). It doesn’t matter if that last bit is put in writing or not, but it does matter if it is in the hearts and minds of the SSPX.
I hope and pray that moment will come.
Father Benoît Wailliez, FSSPX Superior for the District of the Benelux, writes:
“He (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre) expected that one day Rome would grant him that canonical stature of which he had been unjustly deprived…”
Father Franz Schmidberger, FSSPX Superior of Germany, writes:
“If Rome now calls us back from the exile to which it expelled us in 1975 with the abrogation of the [canonical] approval [of the Society], and even more in 1988 with the decree of excommunication, then that is an act of justice…”
Both speak of Justice. That is the essence of any recognition by Rome. The FSSPX has suffered a terrible injustice for nearly 40 years, being slandered and exiled without cause. Not only should Rome repair the injustice that it perpetrated on the SSPX, but it should apologize, and apologize very profusely. But, the SSPX, being gracious and self-less as always, will not demand the apology that is due to them.
That others are finally waking up to what the SSPX has been saying for 40 years is really great, but please realize that the SSPX has been firmly saying the same thing this entire time when NO ONE WAS LISTENING. In the past few years gradually Rome and then the entire world has begun to listen to what the SSPX has been maintaining all along. The SSPX isn’t where the change is happening, folks!
I do certainly distinguish between folks like yourself and those who seem to want to see the SSPX “kneel before Zod,” as it were.
That being said, I think that BXVI realizes that the Church needs the SSPX. (That’s a notion that drives neocon’s nuts, because outside owning the complete Scott Hahn library and a good primer on Theology of the Body, a modern Catholic should want for nothing else.)
@AGA: yes, it would do a whole lot of good to have a host of regularized, solid priests added to the ranks of the Church militant. Not to mention many faithful currently following the SSPX.
PS: I think we should also be careful with terms like ‘neocon’. I see it pop up related to church matters every now and then (espcially on rorate in their comment box), but its unclear to an outsider what is meant by it – or to me, at first I’d even associated it with the political orientation of the same name…
Apologies? In two words: “illicit ordinations”.
Longer version: Now I’m not a fan of the modern habit of apologizing for everything in the recent or distant past, and I think this entire issue would be better approached under a ‘let bygones be bygones’ flag, but to suggest that the SSPX was an innocent lamb is way too much. I’m sure there are many apologies owed on both sides, included the curia, on a personal level, but after the ordinations the Vatican as an institution had no choice but to impose what you call ‘exile’.
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1. I think all these statements give me a great hope that this wound in the Body of Christ shall be healed. Let us continue to pray to the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother for this healing. The Society has been saying the Black and doing the Red from the very beginning, they have not changed, the Church’s center has been shifting. By the guidance of this wonderful Pope of Unity, Pope Benedict XVI, the bark of Peter is correcting course. The big push by Our Holy Father of late is to get priests to say “for many” rather than “for all.” Ya know in 1970, 1975, 1988, 2001, 2005, 2010, and even today the Society has been saying “for many.” So who is in union with Rome? Who for 36 yrs has been saying mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa? We have to beg to be recognized while the rest of the Church is openly disobedient and we are the out casts? That is the problem that is why this process is taking so long, Rome realizes that it has let things get totally out of control and the best medicine is a return to reverence and the society that has maintained that had their Bishops excommunicated for being disobedient to the Pope yet obedient to the mass. I can’t wait to see the documents of the current demands come out to compare them to the demands that Pope Paul VI presented to Archbishop Lefebvre in 1976. Then we shall see whose faith was built on a rock and who’s has been on shifting sand. Oh what a difference 36 yrs. makes. My hat is off to all those in the Society that have been called every name in the book and held firm to their faith and lived to see this reconciliation. The “cult” is becoming the norm and the norm is looking more like a “cult.” I believe our Lady of Fatima spoke of this quite clearly. Is it Home Sweet Rome or Welcome back Rome? Who left and who came back? What ever you want to call it the future looks a lot brighter than the past 40 yrs. especially with Rome and the Society getting back on the same page. The big question is how to save all those drinking the progressive cool-aid that is so far from Catholic doctrine. That is the biggest question and toughest challenge, as one is united many others may formally abandon ship? There is coming a John 6:67 moment. Who will stay and who will go. The Church needs all of us to pray for God’s will to be done in His Church. Come Holy Spirit, Creator blest, and in our souls take up Thy rest, come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou has made.
This article is quite interesting, but is it not belied by the fact that Archbishop Lefebvre did sign an agreement on May 5, 1988 to give the SSPX canonical status, and reneged it on it 24 hours later? Then on June 3o, he consecrated four bishops in defiance of Rome, in spite of receiving a canonical warning from Cardinal Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, not to proceed to such a move. We all know what happened after this, latae sententiae excommunications of 6 men.
Thankfully in January, 2009 the four bishops excommunicated, had this sentence lifted. One can’t rewrite history, but one can only wonder what might have happened, had Lefebvre decided to truty cooperate with the Holy See. allowing it to have the canonical statue the Benelux superior, says he truly wanted.
Andrew: I think if the Archbishop hadn’t wanted unity he would never have signed the May 5 agreement in the first place. He only changed his mind after a sleepless night because he felt he couldn’t trust the SSPX’s future with anyone in Rome… other than Cardinal Ratzinger.
Pope Benedict, CDF oversight directly linked to the Novus Ordo priests and SSPX rejection of Vatican Council II.
They cannot affirm AG 7 since they believe LG 16 is an explicit exception and the Council contradicts itself.
When was the last time you heard a Novus Ordo or SSPX priest during a homily say: all need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water to avoid Hell (for salvation)? (AG 7). This is a rejection of Vatican Council II by priests who offer Holy Mass in the vernacular languages.
Fr. Tim Finigan on the blog the Hermeneutic of Continuity will not even answer when asked if he knows any case of a non Catholic saved in invincible ignorance (LG 16).
The pope, cardinals and bishops assume wrongly that invincible ignorance is an explicit exception to AG 7 and the centuries old interpretation of the dogma, and not just an aphorism, extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
Even the Society of St. Pius X which criticizes the Assisi interfaith meeting will not state that all the non Catholics participants were oriented to Hell. Since they assume, that those saved in invincible ignorance etc are known exceptions to the literal interpretation of outside the church no salvation.
This is the Richard Cushing Error and Pope Benedict has expressed it in writing in the book Light of the World (Ignatius p.107).Cardinal Luiz Ladaria, the Secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican (CDF) has made the same error in the theological paper Christianity and the World Religions 1997 (International Theological Commission).
Since the Letter of the Holy Office 1940 and Cardinal Ottaviani could have also been guilty of this oversight.
They could have assumed that Fr. Leonard Feeney was wrong for denying the baptism of desire etc since they assumed that this was an explicit exception to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus .
This is a factual error of the CDF.We do not know any non Catholic saved with the baptism of desire etc.To claim that there are such cases is false. When repeated after being informed it is a lie. It becomes a sin.
Fr. Anthony Cekada, formerly with the SSPX, condemned the communities of Fr. Leonard Feeney in the USA. He claimed that they have rejected the baptism of desire of the Council of Trent with their literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and so they are in mortal sin. He now refuses to apologize or admit that he was wrong but has removed the internet link with this false claim .
The SSPX is selling a book written by Fr.Francois Laisney which says Fr. Leonard Feeney was condemned by the Holy Office for denying the baptism of desire.Fr. Francois Laisney assumes, like Pope Benedict, that the baptism of desire etc are relevant to the dogma i.e it’s known to us and so is an exception.
The sedevacantists Most Holy Family Monastery (Dimond brothers) reject Vatican Council II and the pope, because of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. They in turn reject the baptism of desire since they also assume it is explicit and would be an exception to the dogma outside the church there is no salvation. The CDF cannot correct the MHFM since the cardinals at the CDF them self make the same error. Neither can Catholics Answers, Catholics United for the Faith and so many other Catholic organisations, correct the sedevacantists.
This is a general oversight throughout the Catholic Church and is relatted to the SSPX ‘s acceptane of Vatican Council II according to Tradition and their rejection of Vatican Council II as interpreted by the liberals.