Large gesture of openness toward SSPX!

Apparently one of the Francis Effects is “apertura”, “an opening up … openness”.

I have suggested elsewhere on this blog, and not too long ago, that Pope Francis could be the one to show TLC to the traditional side.  Benedict XVI was the obvious one to do so, but, after Summorum Pontificum – which was HUGE – he didn’t do too much more.

Could Francis be the one to say or be at a Pontifical Mass?  I somewhat facetiously suggested that in my interview with Amerika.  Somewhat facetiously, but not entirely.  Could Francis be the unexpected one to reconcile the SSPX?  That’s a long shot. It’s a loooooong shot, as a matter of fact, given what we have seen over the last few months. Still, I won’t denounce yet what I have written.

Now I read this.

Marco Tosatti, who has been doing yeoman’s work of late, has this at La Stampa:

Lefebvrians: “Rome doesn’t plan on imposing a capitulation

In an interview with authoritative French weekly magazine Famille Chrétienne, the Secretary of Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Guido Pozzo, discussed the state of relations between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X following Mgr. Fellay’s recent meeting with the Prefect of the Doctrine for the Faith. From the interview, it would seem that the Holy See does not intend to put any pressure on Mgr. Lefebvre’s followers but would like an agreement to be reached, although the timeframe for this is uncertain. [Some time between the opening of the 3rd and 4th Seals, perhaps.] What we are given to understand here, is that Rome intends to show greater flexibility on any aspect that does not regard doctrine. [But… isn’t that pretty much what the SSPX are concerned about? The excommunications were lifted, so that’s not a problem.  They are all suspended divinis because they have received ordination illicitly and do not submit to ecclesiastical authority.]

In 2009 Benedict XVI decided to revoke the excommunication of Lefebvrian bishops who had been illicitly ordained by Mgr. Lefebvre in 1988. This was a first and essential step toward the resumption of a constructive dialogue. Just a first step, however, because there were still some big doctrinal questions which needed to be addressed. The Ecclesia Dei Commission which has close links with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is the main instrument in this dialogue process. [And the dialogue is about doctrine.]

Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview is that which addressed the sticking points in said dialogue. Mgr. Pozzo underlined that “any reservations or positions the Society of St. Pius X may have regarding aspects which are not related to faith but to pastoral questions [Would that include illicit witnessing of marriages, without faculties? Receiving confessions without faculties?] or the prudential teaching of the Magisterium do not necessarily need to withdrawn or relinquished.” [Could this be going the way that I have always suggested?  I have always said that matters of religious liberty were really hard questions, that the Vatican Council’s documents raised quite a few questions, and that there weren’t easy answers.  SSPXers should have the right to raise legitimate questions.] Here Rome seems to be showing an attempt to alter positions expressed in the past: According to Mgr. Pozzo, the fraternity’s reservations are linked to “aspects of pastoral care or the prudential teaching of the Magisterium.” The monsignor’s statement suggests that since these criticisms and reservations are no longer labelled as “doctrinal” the Lefebvrians could legitimately continue to express them. [!]

This approach is expressed more clearly in the following part of the interview: “The Holy See does not wish to impose a capitulation on the SSPX. [!] On the contrary, it invites the fraternity to stand beside it within the same framework of doctrinal principles that is necessary in guaranteeing the same adhesion to the faith and Catholic doctrine on the Magisterium and the Tradition. [“framework of doctrinal principles”… The Creed?] At the same time, there is room for further reflection on the reservations the fraternity has expressed regarding certain aspects and the wording of the Second Vatican Council documents as well as some reforms that followed but which do not refer to subjects which are dogmatically or doctrinally indisputable.” [This is a pretty big deal.]

Finally, one other very important clarification was made: “There is no doubt that the teachings of the Second Vatican Council vary a great deal in terms of how authoritative and binding they are depending on the text. So, for example, the Lumen Gentium Constitution on the Church and the Dei Verbum on the Divine Revelation are doctrinal declarations even though no dogmatic definition was given to them”, [and yet those declarations are in Dogmatic Constitutions…] whereas the declarations on religious freedom, non-Christian religions and the decree on ecumenism “are authoritative and binding to a different and lesser degree.” [Bless my buttons.  This is what I have been talking about for decades now.]

It is unclear how long this process is going to take: “I don’t think it is possible to say yet when this process will conclude,” Mgr. Pozzo said. Both sides are committed to taking things step by step. “There will be no unexpected shortcuts; the clearly stated aim is to promote unity through the generosity of the universal Church led by the successor of Peter.”

Well well.

L’apertura SSPX?

I suspect the members of the SSPX these days, especially after the latest Synod, are having aneurisms and spittle-flecked nutties.  The SPPX has been going on for ever about “eternal Rome” v. “modernist Rome”.  The big move is going to have to come from the Holy See.

Moderation is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Francis, I'm just askin'..., Just Too Cool, New Evangelization, Reading Francis Through Benedict, SSPX and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. jarthurcrank says:

    Perhaps I am being a negative nancy, but this makes me a little uneasy as I get the feeling that the Holy See is taking a “Doctrine? Schmoctrine!” approach to this problem along with A LOT of other things that have gotten ink lately. The insistence on the Preamble by the CDF under Benedict may have gone too far, but is this approach not quite enough – – a latitudinarian false peace?

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Like you, but with less facts, Fr. Z., I have had a suspicion, (woman’s intuition?), that this Pope would end the separation for several reasons. I think the main one is that he really wants to end this problem of traditionals always seeming on the defensive, despite the problems with the FIs.

    Pope Francis may be able to do what St. John Paul II and the Pope Emeritus could not do as he is farther away in time and generation from Archbishop Lefebvre, which means he is less personally involved and coming from a different perspective as a South American as well. The politics of the European cardinals and bishops have affected this decision of reconciliation as well as disrupting the Synod…same problems, different platform.

    I have a sneaky suspicion, however, that some SSPXers will never come back, although some will, for less than holy reasons. Some people just want to be antagonistic to Rome and some want to be seen as holier than Rome.

  3. anilwang says:

    I’m not sure what to make of this. If these concessions were made by Pope Benedict XVI, it’s almost certain that the SSPX would be in negotiations about how to be integrated into Catholic hierarchy, not if. Pope Benedict XVI would likely have tried to hang on longer to ensure his “baby” was safely given birth….and things might be different now.

    Wit Pope Francis, long before the synod of the family, it might have been still the case with Pope Francis, since many in the SSPX see it as their mission to “fix the Church”, and there is more need to now, and with the new openness they have that more of that freedom.

    But after the synod, it’s a bit more iffy….at least until Pope Francis reveals his “pastoral practices of the family”

  4. Legisperitus says:

    It sounds very promising by itself, but how are the SSPX supposed to respond during a pontificate that has run roughshod over the FFI on a charge of allegedly being “crypto-Lefebvrian”?

  5. MWindsor says:

    Since the synod – perhaps they are having nutties of some sort and their blood pressure has risen to dangerous levels. But perhaps they should see an opportunity. If the smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary, how much longer do we wait to call the fire brigade?

  6. I may be in the minority, but I don’t think it is a good idea to reconcile without a doctrinal preamble. Why would Benedict have thought it necessary? Error is still error, whether it on the traditional side or the modernist side.

  7. Athelstan says:

    On Doctrinal questions: “But… isn’t that pretty much what the SSPX are concerned about?”

    In no small part…this is what killed the last effort under Pope Benedict, after all.

    But discipline factors in, too – not least that discipline that has been…visited upon the FFI. SSPX members wonder: could the same be done to a reconciled SSPX? And given that context, as well as other recent developments, I think it is fair to say that were Bishop Fellay to agree to a deal – even a “condition-less” deal – with the Holy See, most of the Society would refuse to follow him right now.

    And Bishop Fellay knows that.

    To his credit, Fellay will answer the phone when Rome calls, no matter how much sniping he endures from his own ranks, even beyond “Resistance” cells. He will make the trip to Rome when invited. But the reality is that the opposition to a reconciliation is, at this point, even stronger within the SSPX itself than it is within the walls of the Curia, where there are now plenty of prelates who would just as soon see these discussions go away, and perhaps even see some excommunications re-imposed.

  8. The Egyptian says:

    I was always taught by the Sisters of the Precious Blood (before they got on the bus), that when a door is closed through prayer Mary will open a “window”

    through the SSPX devotion to the Rosary maybe Mary has opened the “window”

    now if somebody has the sense to crawl through

    can’t wait for t he day when at a deanery meeting a priest shows up in a cassock and biretta among the casual dressed priests.

  9. paladin says:

    the Holy See does not intend to put any pressure on Mgr. Lefebvre’s followers but would like an agreement to be reached, although the timeframe for this is uncertain. [Some time between the opening of the 3rd and 4th Seals, perhaps.]

    :) Sorry to sound frivolous, but I laughed like an idiot when I read this one…

  10. Whoa! Super interesting development for sure.

  11. Josemaria says:


  12. Netmilsmom says:

    Well Patrick Archibold said that Pope Francis is the perfect person to bring the SSPX home.
    Lord Please let this work out and have these poor sheep come back to the flock. Amen.

  13. Fr. Z: “Would that include illicit witnessing of marriages, without faculties? Receiving confessions without faculties?”

    Is it possible that the Pope’s apparent flexibility regarding requirements for reception of holy communion—as, for instance, cited by Sandro Magister yesterday–might, paradoxically, auger well for an SSPX regularization? That is, might a decreased emphasis on rules and regulations regarding admission of laymen to sacraments suggest a more flexible attitude toward clerical formalities like sacramental faculties for priests?

  14. oldcanon2257 says:

    Father Z wrote:

    The big move is going to have to come from the Holy See.

    Call me paranoid (and I’m not even an SSPX’er), but I am wary that the big move (if any) from the Holy See to regularize the SSPX under this pontificate might have the fingerprint of the liberal/modernist faction all over it (same folks from the recent synod).

    It might just have the same motivation (and the same effects) as “Promoveatur ut amoveatur”, to neutralize the SSPX by getting them out of sight (confining them to some officially sanctioned/recognized ecclesial ghettos), making them irrelevant by reducing any visibility they might have had (and consequently any effectiveness they might have had in evangelizing and bringing others home to the Catholic Faith).

    If this truly has the hand of the liberal puppetmasters behind it, any future ordinary of the proposed SSPX personal prelature will be even less influential than the Cardinal Patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

    Furthermore, even if it’s a personal prelature directly under the Pope, after they will have successfully pacified the SSPX, what’s to stop the NKVD-minded liberals in the Curia from sending in a Volpi 2.0 Visitator-Kommissar to slaughter the prelature spiritually?

    It might just be the liberals want to “keep your friends close but your enemies closer”, the first step in their implementation of a gradual process to dismantle the SSPX in multiple phases. They will probably do the CDF/Holy Office in a similar way. And the same to any Sacred Congregation/Dicastery in the Curia which stand as obstacles in the path to achieving their ambitions/agenda.

    Please don’t get me wrong. I have been longing and praying for the day the SSPX is regularized so that they, cum Petro et sub Petro, could help restore things in Christ. But after having seen things like what happened to the Franciscan of the Immaculate, I am wary of the motive behind any conciliatory gesture at this particular time (given the rumor that Cardinal Muller will also soon get the boot, this might not be his own doing.)

    For some strange reason, this sudden gesture reminds me of a quote from Godfather III, when Licio Lucchesi told Michael Corleone, “But our ships, must all sail in the same direction. Otherwise, who can say how long your stay with us will last?”

  15. jbpolhamus says:

    God come to our assistance!, and Lord make HASTE to help us!, but I have a hard time believing that the SSPX are going to find these statements any kind of convincing proofs of good faith. But…one never knows what the Holy Spirit has in mind! All things are possible with God!

  16. paterscotus says:

    This could be good news, indeed. The Society has acted as the living, breathing conscience of the Church since its inception and regularization could be nothing but good for all. Particularly when one considers the range of discussion of the recent synod – even off the charts to the doctrinal “left” – permitted by His Holiness, it would seem only right and just to allow both a hearing to those who have never left the traditional teachings of the Church, and their active ministry within the Church.

    If Pope Francis does do this, he might just BE the “best pope eh-vur” . . . at least since Pius X!

  17. Jack Orlando says:

    To move forward, the Society should:
    1. recognize the Paschal Mystery
    2. recognize that to deny religious liberty is heresy
    3. recognize ecumenism, the denial of which is to deny the validity of baptism when done in the proper form
    4. ascribe to the teachings of Vatican II; it may and should ask for clarifications.
    5. stop calling Jews the “enemies of the faith”.

    Rome, for her part should
    1. clarify what the Society asks for in number 4 above
    2. forbid communion in the hand
    3. restore altar rails
    4. oblige priests to face east.
    5. punish priests who do not say the black and do the red.

  18. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I don’t believe the Society is capable of “apertura” and so the prospect of reunion is doomed. It’s like dealing with the Soviets before Gorbachev.

  19. Mike says:

    Interesting. I wonder who imposed the “doctrinal” requirement under Benedict XVI. It would be interesting to know if it was coming from the Pope, or other bishops (German!) who knew SSPX would not budge, and hence scuttle the deal–which it did.

  20. Gerard Plourde says:

    I agree that this is a welcome gesture on the part of the Vatican. The difficulty is that rapprochement requires some reciprocal movement on Econe’s part.

    One potential stumbling block would be the apparent intransigence of the SSPX concerning issues beyond the validity of the Ordinary Form of the Mass and the Form of the Sacraments following the Second Vatican Council. The Society condemns not merely the excesses that occurred invoking the “Spirit of the Council, it also takes direct aim at the core results of the Council. The SSPX claims that practically the entire structure of the post-Conciliar Church is defective or invalid. This was the position espoused by Archbishop Lefevbre in his 1974 Declaration: “It is impossible to modify profoundly the lex orandi without modifying the lex credendi. To the Novus Ordo Missae correspond a new catechism, a new priesthood, new seminaries, a charismatic Pentecostal Church – all things opposed to orthodoxy and the perennial teaching of the Church.” This position would have to be drastically modified, if not explicitly disavowed as it directly impugns important acts of St. John Paul II, St. John XXIII, Blessed Paul VI, and even Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. I suspect (but pray that I’m wrong) that this is a bridge too far for the Society at this time and possibly at any time.

  21. acroat says:

    I doubt any progress during the pontificate of Pope Francis. They seemed to have some respect for the Pope Benedict XVI but all the dialogue during the Synod is not their style from what I have observed. In addition some of the folks at SSPX won’t even consider coming home unless Vatican II is condemned. So the most that seems possible is a split in SSPX.

  22. excalibur says:

    Why would they trust Rome in light of the treatment of conservatives already in full communion? The Franciscans of the Immaculate, this Bishop in the story at the link. Why trust Rome?

  23. KM Edwards says:

    Archbishop Lefebvre was a good and holy bishop. He, along with his followers, were persecuted for well over a decade before the infamous ‘illicit’ consecrations. He was suspended a divinis in 1976 for one crime alone: Insisting on offering the traditional Latin Mass that was his birthright and that he had taken his priestly oath against.

    His writings were quite clear that he believed sincerely that there was a state of emergency and that the Pope and a large contingent of his bishops were out to destroy the Ancient Mass. One does not need to agree with that point of view, but one can certainly sympathize. Remember, he had been a peritus in Vatican II and had endured the terrible 70s and most of the 80s to witness the effect of the council but more importantly he had first hand experience of the deceptive bullying going on by the NO and modernistic bishops. It should be clearer to us now in 2014 what kind of cardinals and bishops Archbp Lefebvre had become very familiar with in the 70s and 80s, and I for one empathize with him.

    I know of at least one good Catholic family in my area who felt compelled to pull their children out of the local ‘catholic’ school system – they foist sex eductation on grade 2 children – and their parish and *ran* literally to the only nearby parish they could find for spiritual solace, which turned out to be an SSPX parish, where they are very happy and being nourished. They pray for high level ecclesiastic reconciliation. For me personally, going on about SSPX sacraments being illicit is to add salt to the wound. These families, and young men who became priests, and even the bishops, Fellay et al, are in large part victims of a modernistic heist on Our Church.

    The real reason they are despised is not their illicit consecrations but the unforgiveable sin of condemning ecumenism and the other novelties of Vatican II, coupled with a rigid and inflexible devotion to the Ancient Mass.

    The inflexibility was the ONLY reason why Pope John Paul II created ED, and why Pope Benedict XVI issued SP. And without the SSPX, the traditional orders we have today would simply not exist.

    My hope is that Fr Z, Cardinal Burke, and other traditionalists on “this side” of the traditionalist fence, will more and more begin to see the SSPX as their true brethren. With entire national ‘bishop catholic conferences’ given over to ss marriage, communion for divorced/remarried, feminism, Marxism, and other heresies, those who are truly devoted to the immutable dogma of Holy Mother Church ought to talk about each other more as brethren. SSPX are not schismatics, they are Catholics victimized for wanting the real deal.

  24. Sonshine135 says:

    My sincere hope and prayer is that Pope Francis opens that large umbrella of his and provides answers to the questions I believe the SSPX legitimately asked, especially in the Ottaviani Intervention. Currently, I know many of my Catholic brothers and sisters have felt like we have been kicked out from under the umbrella, so a gesture such as this would help to repair some of the damage.

  25. Kathleen10 says:

    Some bones are going to come our way. It wouldn’t be surprising if that happened all this year in fact, right up to Synod 2015.
    Concessions, happy talk, maybe some mentions of the gifts and talents of “Traditionalists”, etc.
    There is a rift to be healed, even if superficially. The world woke up and is watching, and has noticed the great, big chasm in our church and that one side is feeling like the red-headed stepchild.
    To balance out that lopsided Synod, traditionalists are going to get some love.
    There have to be concrete measures taken by the Vatican, that can then be pointed to as proof of “friendliness” toward Traditionalists.
    Nothing to see here, move along.
    But if our faithful Cardinals and Bishops get sidelined or harassed, we are going to notice, and it’s going to get uglier as we go along. I know in the US, we have blatant tyranny and subterfuge in our government, and we deal with that on a daily basis now. It is not likely there would be a lot of patience right now for real shenanigans in our church, and I think the potential pushback is probably being underestimated.

  26. jhayes says:

    It seems to me that the critical statement is that what it will take to close the deal is for the SSPX to sign the “Profession of Faith” that bishops sign when they take office, recognizing that it is only the Magisterium of the Church that can “judge interpretations of Scripture and Tradition, wherever they come from” (presumably including positions which might be put forward by the SSPX)

    Ce qui est essentiel, ce à quoi on ne peut pas renoncer, c’est l’adhésion à la Professio fidei (3) et au principe selon lequel c’est au seul magistère de l’Église qu’a été confiée par le Seigneur la faculté d’interpréter authentiquement, c’est-à-dire avec l’autorité du Christ, la parole de Dieu écrite et transmise. C’est la doctrine catholique, rappelée par le concile Vatican II (Dei Verbum, 10), mais déjà expressément enseignée par Pie XII dans l’encyclique Humani generis. Cela signifie que le Magistère, s’il n’est certes pas au-dessus de l’Écriture et de la Tradition, est néanmoins l’instance authentique qui juge des interprétations sur l’Écriture et la Tradition, de quelque part qu’elles émanent.

  27. RJHighland says:

    I don’t know after what I saw go on at the Synod and what has happened to the Friars of the Immaculate, it seems to me like the SSPX is a tiger being lured into a trap. I see the tiger hunting in a jungle and he sees a deer in the distance but the only way to get to it is through this crevice in some rocks. It’s tempting he really wants to go get it but their is something holding him back. Maybe it is wonding why the deer is tied to a tree? Finally he goes forth through the crevice as he passes through toward the deer the ground gives way under his feet and he finds himself in a cage, soon on his way to be in a circus in a city near you. Next thing you know the tiger is forced to wear a clown hat, a big red nose and being lead around by a clown with carnival music playing. If the Church could find a way to bring the SSPX in and just let them keep doing what they are doing, which is proclaiming the gospel, developing solid masculine vocations, worshiping God the way the Church has done for at least 440 yrs. (Trent), but more like 1,400 (Pope Gregory)-1,971 (last supper)yrs. depending on who you talk to. Just bring them in and quit trying to change something that shouldn’t have been changed so drastically in the first place. I mean when a majority of our shepherds of the faith are willing to change the sacrament of marriage and the teachings on sexuality this train is truly off track. It will take less votes to over turn Church teaching than it would to have a traditional 2/3 vote in the Synod. Maybe thats all this 1st meeting was about finding out what they need to completely over turn the apple cart. The SSPX has not argued for change but simply to be allowed to maintain the deposit of faith that was handed down prior to Vatican II. Why is that such a problem with Rome? I have not been able to figure that out. Why does the SSPX have to compromise on doctrine and practice when that is exactly what has gotten the Church into the mess that it is in.

  28. SSPX’ers are considered the “intellectualistas” and therefore, less important to 1970’s theologians than the poor. I don’t see the SSPX’ers ever having their day in the sun during this pontificate. Openness will be extended to the “do-gooders” because they after all, 1970’s thinking, have the “right heart”, whereas the SSPX’ers: too intellectual for this pontificate.

    [Who said anything about having the “day in the sun”? They are called to SERVE, not to be served. If that means being in the margin (within the margin!), so be it. Furthermore, putting “do-gooder” aside as an epithet, if we don’t also attend to works of mercy, we are in serious trouble with the Lord, no matter how spiffy our Masses are.]

  29. Urs says:

    Well, it would be a wonderful if the SSPX were completely inside the Church but I do not consider Pope Francis to be the perfect one to bring them home as one commenter said that Patrick Archibold said…especially after this synod. I am beginning to think Pope Francis might be the most confusing pope ever….Why would one order in full communion with Rome be disciplined for a similar approach as the SSPX while Rome asks the SSPX to be welcomed home? ..It does not make sense to me just as much of what Pope Francis says does not make sense to me. He seems to consider Cardinal Burke to be ‘rigid’ in his faith while he praises the ‘serene theology’ of Cardinal Kasper. I love Cardinal Burke and I consider Cardil Kasper to be a dissident. Everything is about as clear as mud to me. It seems to me that we are being groomed for ‘God’s Surprise’ and that Pope Francis already knows what it is. Cardinal Kasper drove me crazy with his proposal and interviews about it. He said the pope wanted it. The Pope did not say he didn’t. Pope Francis also appointed the man who was the author of the ‘homosexual’ paragraphs of the relatio. It does not seem to me that Pope Francis wants to clear up any of the confusion for the faithful. I fear the liberals may be closer to the truth than many of us who have considered ourselves to be faithful to Church Teaching. Frankly, I am scared…scared that I may end up being the dissident. It would be a just punishment for me because I have called the liberal ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ crowd dissidents often enough…but what about the Church? I often want to ask Pope Francis, ‘Quo Vadis, Peter?’

  30. Urs says:

    “They are called to SERVE, not to be served. If that means being in the margin (within the margin!), so be it. ”
    Wow! I LOVE that. That is really good! We sure could use some help ‘within the margins’! I wish I could tell that to Bishop Fellay.

  31. marcelus says:

    oldcanon2257 says:
    24 October 2014 at 12:11 pm
    Father Z wrote:

    “The big move is going to have to come from the Holy See.
    Call me paranoid (and I’m not even an SSPX’er), but I am wary that the big move (if any) from the Holy See to regularize the SSPX under this pontificate might have the fingerprint of the liberal/modernist faction all over it (same folks from the recent synod). It might just have the same motivation (and the same effects) as “Promoveatur ut amoveatur”, to neutralize the SSPX by getting them out of sight (confining them to some officially sanctioned/recognized ecclesial ghettos), making them irrelevant by reducing any visibility they might have had (and consequently any effectiveness they might have had in evangelizing and bringing others home to the Catholic Faith).”

    I believe the SSPX is composed of men who have made it thru grade school , all grown and clever enough not to fall int he roman “trap”. Wrongly, they have upheld their position for too long.

    Fellay was not blindfoldedly taken to meet with Muller.

    So, Should Francis be the one top bring them home, no matter how much many may not like that, it would be a GREAT THING!And if not, a good step foward and maybe easier for his succesor.

    God bless

  32. NoraLee9 says:

    Salutem omnibus!

    Should Papa Francis successfully negotiate the reconciliation with the SSPX, I for one, would not be so surprised. Why?
    In the bad old days before SP, Traditionally minded Catholics, who wished to have an “Indult” in their diocese had to petition the local bishop. One would think that the more conservative bishops would be more inclined than their liberal brethren to grant said “Indults.” One would think similarly about “irregular” congregations wishing to be “regularized.” One would be surprised to find that this theory didn’t hold much water.
    I don’t wish to pull up my 1993 list of “Indults” and the corresponding bishops, but I will give one startling example. In 1993, Our Lady of Fatima Chapel, Pequannock, NJ, which had been “Independent” since 1974, and affiliated with the SSPX for Confirmations, et alia, buried their beloved priest, Fr. Ross. Priests from both the FSSP & the SSPX came to speak at the chapel. One of the young men who had grown up at the chapel, and was a seminarian at the FSSP, approached Bishop Rodimer, and explained the situation. HE F. Rodimer, Paterson, encouraged the young man, and the chapel parishioners, to invite the FSSP to serve their chapel. He did not insist that they turn their chapel over to the diocese, and indeed, was rather gracious. Now, 20 years later, FSSP priests travel the 20 miles into NYC quite often to offer Mass at Holy Innocents, NYC., as well as other Traditional locations, in addition to their parish duties at Pequannock.
    And now my point. It took Nixon to go to China. It took Rodimer to regularize the OLF chapel. MAYBE it will take a Francis I to regularize the SSPX.
    Our G-d is full of surprises. Let’s keep praying.


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