SSXP Bp. Fellay speaks with Catholic News Service (no, really!) about the present outlook

I have been praying for a positive outcome for the SSPX with the Holy Father.  I think I will add some fasting.  I will also say a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit soon for this intention.

From CNS.   Notice that SSPX Bp. Fellay is talking to CNS! Very interesting in itself.

My emphases and comments.

Traditionalist leader says group could divide over unity with Rome

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

MENZINGEN, Switzerland (CNS) — The leader of a breakaway group of traditionalist Catholics spoke in unusually hopeful terms about a possible reconciliation with Rome, but acknowledged significant internal resistance to such a move, which he said might lead to the group splitting apart.  [As the night follows the day, I am sure that some will not go along.]


The society is hardly united behind its leader’s [Fellay’s] position, however. In April, according to a letter which surfaced on the Internet May 10, the society’s other three bishops warned Bishop Fellay that the Vatican’s apparent offer to establish the group as a personal prelature — a status currently held only by Opus Dei — constituted a “trap,” and urged him to say no.

“There are some discrepancies in the society,” Bishop Fellay told CNS. “I cannot exclude that there might be a split.”

But the bishop defended his generally favorable stance toward the Vatican’s offer against the objections of his peers. [Yes, there are three other bishops in the Society, but Fellay is the Superior.  They are not “peers” in that sense.]

“I think that the move of the Holy Father — because it really comes from him — is genuine. There doesn’t seem to be any trap,” he said. “So we have to look into it very closely and if possible move ahead.”

He cautioned, however, that the two sides still have not arrived at an agreement, and that unspecified guarantees from the Vatican are still pending. He said the guarantees are related to the society’s traditional liturgical practices and teachings, among other areas.  [I am not sure that there are any real problems with the liturgical issues.  Perhaps someone can clarify something for me.  I am pretty sure that the SSPX generally uses the 1962MR, but did they integrate the new Good Friday petition for the Jews?  As for doctrinal problems, I cannot image that there are going to be too many problems there, either.  Catholic parishes and universities have been oozing all manner of rot for years now and that hasn’t been a problem.  Surely a starker Catholic position can be acceptable.  And if people don’t like it, they won’t attend their chapels.  Market forces, after all, work in the Church too, though slightly differently.  Also, if the Holy See could reconcile Feeney without forcing him to recant his position about salvation outside the Church, then surely they can permit a somewhat divergent view about difficult matters such as religious liberty.]

“The thing is not yet done,” the bishop said. “We need some reasonable understanding that the proposed structure and conditions are workable. We are not going to do suicide there, that’s very clear.”  [So, there is a proposed structure.]

Bishop Fellay insisted the impetus for a resolution comes from Pope Benedict XVI.  [The Pope of Christian Unity.  That is the point of that phrase, of course.  He, the Pope, as Pope, gets to determine what true ecumenism is, for example.  And in this matter, too, he, Peter, is the one who must be active to work with the SSPX in a way that, sad to say, the late Pope did not.]

“Personally, I would have wished to wait for some more time to see things clearer,” he said, “but once again it really appears that the Holy Father wants it to happen now.” [And, as we sing, “Tu est Petrus”!]

Bishop Fellay spoke appreciatively of what he characterized as the pope’s efforts to correct “progressive” deviations from Catholic teaching and tradition since Vatican II. “Very, very delicately — he tries not to break things — but tries also to put in some important corrections,” the bishop said. [A good description.  “He tries not to break things.”]

Although he stopped short of endorsing Pope Benedict’s interpretation of Vatican II as essentially in continuity with the church’s tradition — a position which many in the society have vocally disputed — Bishop Fellay spoke about the idea in strikingly sympathetic terms.

I would hope so,” he said, when asked if Vatican II itself belongs to Catholic tradition.  [Everybody now!  One cheer for… er… half a cheer for Vatican II!]

“The pope says that … the council must be put within the great tradition of the church, must be understood in accordance with it. These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely,” the bishop said. “The problem might be in the application, that is: is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with tradition?[QUAERITUR!]

Insisting that “we don’t want to be aggressive, we don’t want to be provocative,” Bishop Fellay said the Society of St. Pius X has served as a “sign of contradiction” during a period of increasing progressive influence in the church. He also allowed for the possibility that the group would continue to play such a role even after reconciliation with Rome.  [OF COURSE THEY WOULD!  That is the whole POINT!]

“People welcome us now, people will, and others won’t,” he said. “If we see some discrepancies within the society, definitely there are also (divisions) in the Catholic Church.”

“But we are not alone” in working to “defend the faith,” the bishop said. “It’s the pope himself who does it; that’s his job.  [Yes.  That is HIS job.] And if we are called to help the Holy Father in that, so be it.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The SSPX uses the liturgical books that coincide with the 1962 Missale Romanum. For Holy Week, they use the 1955 edition “grosso modo” but with a few pre-1955 customs (e.g., on Palm Sunday, the “Gloria, laus” ceremony of knocking of the door before re-entering the church) – in this, they continue to use the original prayer for the conversion of the Jews.

  2. I am sure there is a certain urgency in this matter given the age of the Pope, and the fact that his successor might not be so accommodating toward the the Society. This is certainly turning into a bit of a cliffhanger!

  3. JARay says:

    I most earnestly hope that this reconciliation comes about. Unfortunately I cannot see all comming aboard when it does. I cannot see Bishop Williamson comming aboard for starters. I was not aware until now that Bishop Fellay was opposed by the other three bishops. This certainly does not auger well for the future.

  4. AnnAsher says:

    There never should have been any liturgical issue, IMO. JPII founded the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign King the SSPX was doing for which he suspended/excommunicated the latter. Never made sense to me!

  5. Bender says:

    You can be sure that Pope Benedict, like “the late Pope,” gives three rousing cheers for the Council.

  6. mwk3 says:

    Given certain statements from Mgr Fellay and other recent SSPX letters, it seems that the shape of the situation has subtly shifted over the last few months. We have known all along that Benedict has wanted a reunion, and indeed has since 1988. He has diligently and patiently worked for this for the last two decades. But before it seemed that all of the gestures were propaedeutic or conciliatory. Now it seems that the SSPX have been given an offer, and it does not sound like Benedict is asking any longer (cf. ‘If Rome calls us back now . . .’) In other words, it seems that Benedict has placed an offer on the table, but it is no longer an offer or a request but rather more like (I would not say an ultimatum) but something like an order. The SSPX are members of Holy Church (albeit not legally, or shall we say legalistically), and as Pope, Benedict has authority over them. Now he is telling them to do something. Let us pray that they do. It seems that some won’t, but I think that it is quite likely that many will. Fiat Voluntas Tua.

  7. Joseph-Mary says:

    I agree with JARay that it appears to be 3 vs 1. Thank goodness for the one! The others can go off into permanent schism or sedevacantism and claim they are the ‘true church’ all they want—it will just disintegrate into protestantism.

    But I do look forward to reconciliation with all that will come in with Bishop Fellay.

  8. jdscotus says:

    Fr. Z. et. al,

    Good observations, as usual. I encourage you to make sure people do not get bent out of shape needlessly by urging them to visit, which (as I am certain you know) is the official news site of the SSPX here in the USA. I also think Fr. Z.’s advice to pray and ratchet up the sacrifices is an excellent idea, and I also think it is too premature to panic. [Which is why we are optimistically praying and fasting! o{]:¬) ] Yes, the waves are rocking the boat, but let’s see how things play out. This is an emotional issue, with many years of hard work and sacrifices on the line on both sides of the issue. The way someone feels today may not be the way he feels next week after additional information and additional time to reflect and pray on that information. Moreover, even if an agreement is not reached at this point, it does not at all mean that one cannot be reached in the future. Trust in God.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I love that guy, Bishop Fellay, that is! I trust him in this whole process, whichever way it ends up going, though I am praying for regularization.

  10. AnAmericanMother says:

    Praying that as many as possible will come home.
    That some are going to split off is inevitable. Once you start being protestant, substituting your judgment for that of the Church, it only gets worse and gains a momentum of its own.

  11. Bryan Boyle says:

    Starting a rosary and divine mercy chaplet as soon as I log off…It seem Bp Fellay is the only one of the 4 who has his head screwed on the right way. The others?

    By your fruits, you will know them. Ubi Petrus…otherwise, in your resistance, you are nothing but protestant. Period.

  12. GregH says:

    Henry Edwards,
    What are your thoughts? Thank God Bishop Fellay is leading the Society and not the other three

  13. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I’m definitely praying and hoping.

  14. “For Holy Week, they use the 1955 edition ‘gross modo’ but with a few pre-1955 customs (e.g., on Palm Sunday, the ‘Gloria, laus’ ceremony of knocking of the door before re-entering the church) – “

    They’re not alone. The TLM at the parish where I emcee has been doing this for several years now, beginning with the blessing of palms in a separate building, then processing to the church. And even the FSSP uses the “second Confetior” in some places, particularly at Solemn High or Pontifical High Masses.

  15. jhayes says:

    About the comparison with Fr. Feeney:

    When Fr. Feeney died in 1978, Cardinal Avery Dulles wrote a fond remembrance of him:

    For those who loved and admired Father Feeney it was painful to see illustrated newspaper articles about him on the Boston Common, flanked by burly bodyguards, shouting vulgar anti-Semitisms at the crowds before him. No doubt he did become angry and embittered in the early 1950’s, but happily this was only a passing phase. St. Benedict Center, after it moved to Still River, Mass., in January 1958, became a different kind of community, more in keeping with the Benedictine spirit to which Father Feeney himself had long been attracted. Thus it became possible for the major portion of the community, including Father Feeney himself, to be reconciled to the Catholic Church in 1974. Two years later two members of this community were ordained to the priesthood so that they could carry on Father Feeney’s ministry to the “pious union of Benedictine Oblates” that has sprung forth from the St. Benedict Center. It would have been tragic if Leonard Feeney, the great apostle of salvation within the church, had died an excommunicate.

    I lived in Cambridge and worked near the St. Benedict Center while Fr. Feeney was making those speeches on Boston Common. Although I lived in the area until after his death, I heard very little of him once the St. Benedict group had moved away from he city. I don’t recall hearing of Fr. Feeney teaching “extra ecclesiam…” to the public at large after his excommunication was lifted.

    I think one issue the Pope must be struggling with is whether the SSPX bishops and pastors (Feeney was neither) will feel able to refrain from teaching as established doctrine issues which are still unresolved between them and the Pope.

    Here is the website of the group that Fr. Feeney founded.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    Europe especially needs the sspx in with Rome as there is no strong liberal alternative, just complete secularism

  17. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Why the conundrum of worrying about Vatican II in the first place? I thought one Council’s proclamations weren’t set in concrete until a subsequent council said so. And then even more subsequent councils double down on it (creating Tradition, as it were). So obviously it will take another Council to clear the air about Vatican II. Of course, Paul VI and JPII were quite fond of it, so there is a bit of painting into a corner to be worked out. Anyone with thoughts as to how?

  18. Alan Aversa says:

    @Cheesesteak Expert: The Church doesn’t create Tradition. Tradition is given to Her and passed on (hopefully) uncorrupted. Cf., e.g., Vatican I’s Dei Filius.

  19. heway says:

    Last saturday evening at my husband’s birthday dinner (84 yo), the conversation turned to the SSPX. Two of our friends attend Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Silver City. The husband did the masonary work when it was built. With us were 2 diocesan priests from local parishes. I said that it appeared that there may be a split? Neither one of them could comment; knew nothing of Bishop Fellay’s messages; do not know who their bishop is…and they are not fasting, praying, etc.
    What is going on here?

  20. ContraMundum says:

    I think one issue the Pope must be struggling with is whether the SSPX bishops and pastors (Feeney was neither) will feel able to refrain from teaching as established doctrine issues which are still unresolved between them and the Pope.

    No doubt that is an issue, but not just from SSPX. I’m willing to blame poor formation in the seminary, but no small number of pastors teach every Sunday as established doctrine issues which are certainly not resolved as such, and which in many cases have been definitively and permanently rejected. In fact, as outrageous as the recent statements of Nancy Pelosi have been, I don’t think it would take her much time to find a Catholic priest who teaches much the same from the pulpit.

  21. Geoffrey says:

    “There never should have been any liturgical issue, IMO. JPII founded the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign King the SSPX was doing for which he suspended/excommunicated the latter. Never made sense to me!”

    No. The SSPX bishops excommunicated themselves because they were consecrated bishops against the Pope’s expressed will. When Pope Benedict XVI issued the revised Prayer for the Jewish People and ordered that it be used in the Extraordinary Form, I recall the SSPX issuing a statement saying that they were not going to use it. One more example of why I don’t see how reconciliation will work… but, oh well!

  22. Clinton R. says:

    Much prayer is needed. I can understand the viewpoints of the various sides of this situation. Bsp. Williamson sees Assisi III and the widespread liberalism and outright apostasy that infects the Church and is concerned with how much Rome adheres to the modernism introduced by Vatican II. Bsp. Williamson has made some intriguing comments and expressed valid concerns, but a turn to sedevacantism simply cannot be the answer. Pope Benedict XVI, while not a traditionalist himself, has seen the devastation the “spirit of V2” has wrought on the Church Militant, and is more friendly towards tradition than his immediate predecessors. His Holiness has demonstrated his desire towards restoring tradition brick by brick, especially a return to orthodox and sound Catholic doctrine and teaching. And Bsp. Fellay, while he might be apprehensive about how much freedom the Society will receive (especially after Pope Benedict XVI’s passing), he is aware that the next Pontiff might not have the same willingness to dialogue with the SSPX. I think Bsp. Fellay’s comments express his feeling that while the terms of the possible agreement might not be what the SSPX wants in a perfect world, restoring the Church is paramount. And the SSPX can’t do its part without full canonical status. I really don’t know how this will be resolved and this is crucial time in the Church, but I trust in God and pray that His will be done. May Our Blessed Mother pray for the Holy Catholic Church. +JMJ+

  23. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Alan, your “hopefully” leads one to think that the passing on uncorrupted has not occurred.

  24. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Cheesesteak Expert:

    I took Alan’s “hopefully” to imply that in some parts of the Church, Tradition is faithfully handed on, and sadly in some parts it is not. But such has always been the case. As far as a Council’s work being set in concrete, that happens without reference to another council or waiting for another council to chime in on the matter. Thus after the Council of Jerusalem St. Peter was able to say with complete confidence, “we and the Holy Spirit have decided…”

    And after Trent, St. Pius V went about implementing the teachings and reforms without doubting in the least whether it was yet a part of Tradition or not. And here we see the difference with Vatican II. Paul VI battled numerous global forces which made proper implementation difficult, and probably wasn’t the right figure of authority to deal with those. After Trent, Pius V wielded authority with intrepid resolve, holy example, and systematically crushed any who got in the way of the reforms of Trent (thank God!). The same could almost be said of Leo XIII after Vatican I, although he was slightly more gentle but just as fearless as St. Pius V, having the bold and saintly example of Blessed Pio Nono to light his way.

  25. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I forgot to add that this process being dragged out now over the 7 years of the Benedictine pontificate is, it seems to me, most prudent and pastoral. The Society of St. Pius X has been nudged along by the saintly pontiff now gloriously reigning, little by little, without aggressive force and rash moves. Little by little he has introduced the changes which make their return opportune at this time. And even recently, with the Preamble, he made no threats and rushed deadlines, thereby giving bishops and priests time to prepare the rank and file with gradual but consistent statements which both teach and assuage fears among the members.

    Prayers, novenas, and Masses for reconciliation are a wonderful way also to teach the people, as well as beseech the good God, for they recall to the faithful Catholic heart that every good change comes from the hand of Providence. This is not all politics and human machination, as the typical jaded mind might think. And it certainly takes prayers to move hardened and rebellious hearts within the Society that would, at first impulse, be suspicious of and reject any offers from the Holy See. So brick by brick, a good thing is being built. If after all this some in the SSPX will still walk away, the Holy Father can at least be assured that it was not for lack of pastoral solicitude and every human effort to return them to the fold.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Bender says:

    You can be sure that Pope Benedict, like “the late Pope,” gives three rousing cheers for the Council.

    BXVI is well aware of any warts on the documents of the Council.

  27. Dominicanes says:

    “Also, if the Holy See could reconcile Feeney without forcing him to recant his position about salvation outside the Church, then surely they can permit a somewhat divergent view about difficult matters such as religious liberty.”

    FATHER Leonard Feeney was not excommunicated for his position on “no salvation” but for disobedience in not going to Rome when asked to. There are differences of opinion on this disobedience as Fr. Feeney always held that it wasn’t done according to canonical procedure.

    No matter what one think of Fr. Leonard Feeney it amazes me how people who should don’t even bother to get the facts correct and still treat him as though he was excommunicated. The man has been dead for 34 years and he is still maligned. I can’t figure out why his name creates such a push button reaction.

    [Relax! Find a small paper bag and breathe into it slowly…. o{]:¬) ]

  28. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Fr_Sotelo, Pope Paul VI certainly seemed willing to exercise his authority in dealing with Archbishop Lefebvre.

    Given Paul VI’s level of focus, consistency and vitality in dealing with the Archbishop and the SSPX, a more logical conclusion would be that Paul VI was not much different than Pius V in implementing a Council over which he presided – wouldn’t you agree?

  29. ContraMundum says:

    No matter what one think of Fr. Leonard Feeney it amazes me how people who should don’t even bother to get the facts correct and still treat him as though he was excommunicated.

    But he was excommunicated. This is a fact, it is correct, and it will always be a part of his biography. I think you meant to say that he is not still excommunicated, but was reconciled in 1972. Still, the fact of someone having been at any point excommunicated means exactly the same thing as the red wiggly line under a word in a word processor: do not assume this is correct, but double-check.

  30. ContraMundum says:

    Oh, and to extend the analogy, just because there is no wiggly line does not mean there is no problem, as those of us who have used “there” when we meant “there” or “to” when we meant “too” have discovered. These words would be like those people who arguably should be excommunicated, but never are.

  31. Stephen D says:

    I read some comments on a forum to which SSPX members contribute. It seems from what I read (admittedly a small sample of total opinion) that many of their members now consider the SSPX to be THE Church and will have absolutely nothing to do with the ACTUAL Church, regarding it as terminally contaminated with modernism and unrepentant about it. Some have stated that they do not recognise the validity Novus Ordo Mass, which they consider heretical so, barring a complete ban of the Novus Ordo, those people will not be coming in. I believe that the Church has an urgent duty to reconcile as many as possible because of the spiritual jeopardy that these people are in but I believe that it will be a minority , and maybe a small one.

  32. Fr Jackson says:

    I think it very likely that the reporter has misrepresented Bishop Fellay’s response about the Second Vatican Council (“I would hope so,” he said, when asked if Vatican II itself belongs to Catholic tradition.”) And we don’t cheer the Council in our circles. Believe me. Not even half a cheer.

    Anyway, yes, pray for all to go well. What a relief that at long last this moment seems to have come!

  33. Centristian says:

    “And we don’t cheer the Council in our circles. Believe me. Not even half a cheer.”

    Get out.

    You know what, if the only result of all this to-do of late is that Fellay, alone, escapes the Lefebvrists and comes home…then blessed be God. That would be huge enough for me.

  34. Texas trad says:

    I have a second home in Silver City, New Mexico and also attend Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery for masses. I was there last week. The priests and monks are saying they believe an accord will be reached with Rome. They were speaking calmly about it and look forward to the positive aspects of the agreement, the main one being that more people will feel free to attend the Latin Mass. I am having lunch at my home here in Texas today for a Diocesan priest who does the Latin Mass. He knows all the details (good and bad) as soon as they have hit the media. He is keeping up with all of it and is hopeful and prayerful the accord will be reached, as are we. There will be a split in the SSPX. The sede vacantists will follow Williamson and the other bishops. Sad, but true.

  35. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Centristian, I hardly see how adherents of the SSPX should either cheer the XXI Ecumenical Council, or get out of the Church. In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas. (Leaving aside the question how much obeying the Council is necessarium, cheering it certainly is not.)

  36. Centristian says:


    “Get out”, as I’m sure you know, is just an expression meaning, “you don’t say.” One doesn’t literally mean “get out” when one uses that expression. It was, of course, playful sarcasm, as we all know that the SSPX doesn’t cheer the Second Vatican Council.

    Nevertheless, the impetus behind the Council and the results that were hoped for (that were, alas, derailed by nefarious agendas) could certainly be acknowledged placidly by the Lefebvrists, even if they cannot bring themselves to enthusiastically embrace any of it. It hasn’t got to be the source of endless vexation for them that it has been, if only they could simply ackowledge the Council apart from the “Spirit of Vatikintoo” that so many mistake for the authentic aspirations of that council.

    Pope Benedict XVI, as we know, operates from a hope that the Council can be revisited and that the results that were once genuinely hoped for might now begin to be realized after 40 years of a regrettable taking of the Council’s name in vain.

    As to the Lefebvrists and other traditionalists, however, with respect to the Council, it is the year 2012 and the Council is long a thing of the past. In light of Summorum Pontificum, I see no reason why they could not simply ignore the now long-concluded Second Vatican Council and move beyond it (as have so many of the rest of us).

    They really haven’t got to pay it any homage, at this point, as I see matters. I, personally, think they lose out if they fail to see the Council for what it should have been and for the marvelous results that have yet to be realized, but, again, the provisions of Summorum Pontificum allow them to freely express the Catholic faith and liturgy as they perceive it, universally. I see no more reason for any Lefebvrist of good will to find himself journeying apart from the fold. Summorum Pontificum makes their concerns all but a moot point, by now.

    I see no reason, then, why they cannot stop looking at the official Church as the “Conciliar Church” and begin to look at it, if they prefer, as the “Summorum Pontificum Church”. All in all, it is the Catholic Church, of course, many parts of which, in any event (I think of Catholics of the Eastern traditions) have never been liturgically impacted by “Conciliarism” at all.

    Let Williamson and those that have spiritually suicided in bitterness and anger go their way if they must (however sad and unfortunate that circumstance may be) and let those who are able to let their hearts be filled with the Holy Spirit and with genuine love for the whole Church become a part of the larger family of Christendom, once again, permitting themselves to be charitably apostolic in an effort to positively reform the negative aspects of the modern Church and the modern world that so many of us see and hope to see reformed by our prayers, sacrifices, examples, and efforts.

  37. ContraMundum says:

    Do we have to cheer the Council of Jerusalem describe in the Acts of the Apostles? Maybe we could grudgingly accept it, with full freedom to further explore theological difficulties arising from the idea that (male) Gentiles can become Christians without being circumcised, and that they may eat foods that are not kosher, in contrast to the customs followed by Christians from the time of Pentecost to Peter’s vision and meeting with Cornelius?

  38. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Centristian, so my whole question rests on my bad understanding of English… Pardon me please, I’m sorry.

  39. leonugent2005 says:

    Centristian you correctly point out that Catholics of the Eastern traditions have never been liturgically impacted by “Conciliarism” at all. However, Msgr Williamson is associated with a group called The Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat. This group has so grossly latinized some Eastern Catholic churches it defies description.

  40. Fr. Z. asked: “Perhaps someone can clarify something for me. I am pretty sure that the SSPX generally uses the 1962MR, but did they integrate the new Good Friday petition for the Jews?”

    I’ve been attending Mass with the SSPX for 20+ years in various locations in the USA. The priests definitely DO NOT use the new Good Friday prayer and I believe the question was addressed in the Angelus or a Q&A on one or all of the districts’ websites at the time. Some priests do not use the 1962 ‘version’ of the prayer for the Jews, which includes the genuflection (Flectamus genua …). Some others do. Most priests who are “friends of SSPX”, i.e. work with but are not members of, use the pre-1955 MR rubrics (and Breviary) throughout the year and during the Holy Week ceremonies. Many priests of the SSPX retain certain pre-1955 Holy Week ceremonies as these ceremonies can be argued to be “venerable customs” as is the case for the use of the “confiteor … ” before the communion of the faithful. These venerable customs are rich in symbolism. However, since 1983 (post expulsion of 9 sedevacantist priests) the 1962 MR has been the “official” missal of the SSPX, as witnessed by the reprinting of both the altar missal and hand missal (which is on its third reprint, I believe).

    Fr. Z. said: “As for doctrinal problems, I cannot image that there are going to be too many problems there, either.”

    They will be the same as they always were: false ecumenism, collegiality, religious liberty and the NOM. This position has been established and reiterated countless times. The SSPX, per recent statements by Bishop Fellay, maintains the commitment to preach AGAINST these.

  41. BTW: I know not a few priests of the FSSP who also do not use the new Good Friday prayer. It was, after all, merely a suggestion by the Holy Father and not an obligation. Most FSSP priests respect the venerable custom of maintaining the “confiteor … ” before the communion of the faithful. Cheers to that!

  42. Centristian says:


    Yes, well, really, don’t get me started on the Lefebvrists’ foray into the affairs of the Eastern Church via the Society of St. Josaphat, as if they had any business at all in the East. That some of them have attempted to interfere in the Byzantine Church demonstrates their sometimes unbelievable hubris, underscoring their delusion that they “are” the Church, now, and not merely a Latin Rite priestly fraternity dedicated to the preservation of the pre-Conciliar liturgy. This is but one of many examples that can be cited to illustrate the Society’s decision that they have some sort of jurisdiction not only within but indeed over the whole of the Catholic Church (as they regard it).

    Other examples include their supervisory role over offshoots of religious orders, such as the Dominicans and the Benedictines. One of their bishops last year pretended to, of his own authority, “canonically erect” a Benedictine monastery to the status of Benedictine priory. The SSPX has plans to eventually erect the same monastery to the status of abbey.

    Needless to say, they have no authority to pretend to any such authority, but that has never stopped them. One hopes that the voices of reason who are now reaching out to the Holy Father’s extended hand of reconciliation will look upon such extravagances as events that need to be repented of.

  43. Son of Trypho says:

    Perhaps some in the SSPX are thinking of a tranched approach to reunion?

    They might have Bp Fellay and a portion make immediate reunion and the remainder observe for a period of time to see what happens and assess the reception etc?

    A very strange way to look at it theologically , but pragmatic and cautious.

  44. Texas trad says:

    Why do you believe Bishop Galeretta did not have the authority to elevate Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery last year? You are aware that the Father Prior there was ordained by Lefebvre aren’t you? I was there and I did not see anything amiss. The monastery is now fully under the SSPX. Say more.

  45. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Cheesesteak Expert:

    Pope Paul VI suspended Archbishop Lefebvre for defying a direct order not to ordain priests for the newly formed SSPX. This might seem authoritarian and harsh, but when you compare this to the excommunications, anathemas, and virulent rhetoric of St. Pius V, who referred to Elizabeth of England as a promiscuous whore, and released all her subjects from allegiance to her, it was quite mild actually. St. Pius V raised up an entire army and went to war with the forces of Islam until they were decimated at Lepanto. St. Pius V hardly allowed a week to go by without lowering the iron fist on Protestants, schismatics, and heretics of every stripe until Catholicism under him was hurdling from triumph to triumph. Paul VI had nothing in his style of leadership and exercise of authority which would even compare, thereby explaining the almost total breakdown of authority and complete dismantling of the ancient liturgy under his pontificate.

    If Lefebvre had challenged St. Pius V, he would not have been suspended. He would have been excommunicated and hunted down, put in chains, and spent the rest of his life in the San Angelo papal prison, being fed bread and water. Of course, I would have to add that if a St. Pius V had ruled the Church after Vatican II, Archbishop Lefebvre would have happily followed his every lead.

  46. Centristian says:

    Texas trad:

    Bishop De Galarreta, when elevating the monastery to a priory, presumed for himself the authority of the local bishop. De Galarreta is a suspended clergyman with no jurisdiction and has no business acting as if he were the ordinary of the diocese. He certainly hasn’t got any authority to “canonically erect” anything. His action was completely illicit and finally meaningless.

    It would be as if you or I showed up and did it. You and I have just as much authority to do such a thing as he has…that is to say, zip. So until a legitimate ecclesiastical authority with the appropriate jurisdiction steps in and regularizes the situation, Our Lady of Guadelupe is just a building that looks like a monastery with some renegade Benedictine monks living in it, I’m afraid. They can call it a Benedictine priory if they want…and I can declare my kitchen a Royal Peculiar of the British Sovereign if I want…but it doesn’t make it so.

    Archbishop Lefebvre imagined that the bishops he consecrated would have “emergency powers”, as it were, to ordain priests in the pre-conciliar rites and to confirm children. He always insisted that they were non-jurisdictional bishops, somewhat akin to auxiliary bishops. At first, the SSPX bishops acted like non-jurisdictional bishops, quite scrupulously, in fact.

    But somewhere along the line that all changed, and while they never claimed any territorial jurisdictions as such, they nevertheless began usurping the authority of bishops with territorial jurisdiction. That is precisely what happened with this monastery. There is no “emergency need” to canonically erect a Benedictine priory! It was a shamefully blatant pretention to ordinary episcopal power.

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