UPDATE 12 July:

An interview with the new SSPX Superior.

UPDATE 11 July:

Turncoat Tornielli at Inside Vatican has put a negative spin on this election, concluding that an “agreement is farther off”. How he gets to that conclusion is anyone’s guess. I suspect that it is his wishful thinking. “Sun sets on the line of dialogue with Rome”. Oooo! Dramatic.

Tornielli quotes from the old interview that Pagliarani gave:

I can only repeat what was explained clearly by my superiors from the start: the canonical situation in which the Society presently finds itself is the result of its resistance to the errors that infest the Church; consequently the possibility of the Society arriving at a regular canonical situation does not depend on us but on the hierarchy’s acceptance of the contribution that Tradition can make to the restoration of the Church.

If we do not arrive at some canonical regularization, that simply means that the hierarchy is not yet sufficiently convinced of the urgent need for that contribution. In that case we will have to wait a few more years, hoping for an increase in that awareness, which could occur along with and parallel to the acceleration in the process of the Church’s self-destruction.

That was some years ago.  Yet today we see the “process of the Church’s self-destruction” may be accelerating.  Motus in fine velocior, after all.

Tornielli pointed out that De Gallareta, elected as an assistant, is intransigent. On the other hand, Fr. Christian Bouchacourt knew Card. Bergoglio from his time in Argentina: Bergoglio had helped the SSPX in Argentina with their legal status.

Who know what will happen now? Nobody. People had expected that Pope Benedict might be the one to reconcile the SSPX, because of his understanding of Tradition. That didn’t happen. Then an unliturgically-minded seeming anti-traditional Pope is elected and the SSPX is suddenly allowed to receive sacramental confessions and to witness marriages.

So, now there is a new leadership in the SSPX.

Who can predict what will happen? Nobody.

However, given the past turns and surprises, maybe this is the team that will finally succeed.

___ Originally Published on: Jul 11, 2018 @ 12:32

This is interesting.  From what I had been reading, Bp. Fellay was the favorite for re-election.  Things went another direction.

I wonder what this means for rapprochement with Rome.

Communiqué of the General House of the Society of Saint Pius X
July 11, 2018

Election of the Superior General
On July 11, 2018, Father Davide Pagliarani was elected Superior General, for a mandate of 12 years, by the 4th General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X.
The new Superior General is 47 years old and is of Italian nationality. He received the sacrament of Holy Orders from the hands of Bishop Bernard Fellay in 1996. He exercised his apostolate in Rimini (Italy), then in Singapore, before being appointed Superior of the District of Italy. Since 2012, he was Rector of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix Seminary of La Reja (Argentina).
After accepting his office, the elected pronounced the Profession of Faith and took the Anti-Modernist Oath at the seminary church. Then, each of the members present came before him to promise their respect and obedience, before singing the Te Deum in thanksgiving.
The 41 capitulants will proceed tomorrow with the election of the two Assistants General, for the same mandate of 12 years. The Chapter will continue until July 21st at the Seminary of St. Pius X of Ecône (Switzerland)
Ecône, July 11, 2018
(Source : FSSPX – FSSPX.News – 07/11/2018)

There is an 2011 interview (in English) with Fr Pagliarani HERE.  A lot has changed since then, including a change of Popes.

“But Father! But Father!”, I can hear some of you over-wrought readers yowling in frustration.  “What is this Oath?  What does it say? Does it HATE VATICAN II?!?”

Glad you asked!  My emphases and comments.


Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day[Consider the context of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  This could still apply today.] And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this timeThirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical’ misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously[This would be hard for some people to understand today.  There is a difference between development of doctrine and change of doctrine.] I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendiand in the decree Lamentabili[remember the historical context.] especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion[This would knock a few people out of their present offices.] I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historianas if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .


Election of the General Assistants
Just as the day was coming to an end, the new Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Father Davide Pagliarani, and the 40 other capitulants have decided to proceed to the election of the two General Assistants.

The 1st Assistant elected is Bishop Alfonso Gallareta, auxiliary bishop of the Society, of Spanish nationality. Aged 61, he was ordained priest in 1980 at Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he lived for a certain time. In the past he has held the roles of Rector of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix Seminary at La Reja, Argentina, and superior of the Autonomous House of Spain and Portugal. He was 2nd Assistant of the Society from 2002 to 2006. Until now, he resided in Geneva, Switzerland.

The 2nd Assistant elected is Father Christian Bouchacourt, of French nationality. Aged 59, he was ordained priest in 1986 by Archbishop Lefebvre. For a long time he was stationed in Paris, especially at Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet, before becoming District Superior of South America and then, in 2014, District Superior of France.

Now that these elections have taken place, the General Chapter will be able to address the numerous questions which have been proposed for discussion, until July 21st 2018.

Ecône, the 11th of July 2018

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Interesting, so the Superior General doesn’t need to be a bishop? I didn’t realize that. What does this mean for Bp Fellay? I’m unfamiliar with the internal structure of the SSPX.

  2. kat says:

    No he does not; the first Superior General was not one. Even if the Superior General is a bishop, as Bishop Fellay, he was not the superior AS bishop. The SSPX bishops have no authority as bishops. They are considered Sacramental bishops, and were only consecrated to be able to give the Sacraments reserved to a bishop, especially Holy Orders. Any priest can be the Superior General.

  3. JesusFreak84 says:

    I’m more curious if he’s made any public statements about +Fellay’s discussions with Rome. I’m sure the SSPX itself will be fine regardless, but I wonder what this means for any chances of a personal prelature. Would +Fellay still be the point of contact simply because he’s a Bishop?


  5. Ave Crux says:

    It was reported elsewhere leading up to the election that Fellay himself ask that he not be re-elected, after already having served two 12-year terms, even though he was favored. So this is not a referendum on Fellay,

    I am sure they are acting strategically, not recklessly. There’s far too much at stake and they know how to proceed prudently. These are men of great virtue.

  6. kat says:

    No, the new Superior General will be the point of contact with Rome. However, I’m sure Bp. Fellay will be available for the new superior to reach out for advice, etc.

  7. Eric says:

    For those commenting on wondering about his view of relations with Rome, click Fr. Z’s link above for his 2011 interview. It is very in depth. I personally have supreme confidence and trust in the Society in that regard. They have been tried and tested as the continual defenders of Tradition. They know what they are doing.

    The statues regarding the leadership of the Society are a totally separate thing than the auxiliary bishops who do not exercise episcopal jurisdiction. The bishops answer to their Superior General. The consecrations were Archbishop Lefebvre’s operation survival, to provide the ability and means for Tradition to be kept alive (Holy orders and confirmation), not the leadership in the Society.

    The Superior General is in charge with the relations with Rome.

    I congratulate the Society on its new Superior General! Look forward to the election of the two Assistant Generals next!

    To restore all things in Christ!

  8. Benedict Joseph says:

    One could wish that a copy of the oath had been available to each of the participants in the conference held in Albuquerque by Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP) at the invitation, participation and patronage of Archbishop John Wester whom Richard Rohr OFM termed their “protector.”
    Everyone appears “off the leash” during this curious epoch.

    [Ah yes. The Ass. of US Catholic Priests.]

  9. Unwilling says:

    It is “bracing” to read over the Oath. It is hard to conceive of promising to believe something. Believe something or don’t – but promise to? We tend to think in terms of the force of currently available information. And we evaluate such force as inescapably political and strategic, rather than from Truth. Regarding what scholars and journalists claim, I probably don’t believe any of it. I accept and obediently (Ausculta pervenies) believe all that (doctrine) is proposed by the Oath, but I am not sure what promising to believe it means in addition.

  10. GordonB says:

    The media might have said Fellay was the favorite, and that may be true and that is also because his leadership is generally trusted. However I think first, he did not want to be reelected and likely would have turned down a nomination because he has been this role for a very long time and probably has tired of being the primary lightning rod for the left and right. Also practically speaking he is easy fodder for attack by various media outlets from the left and the right (to include a Crux article accusing him of being sex abuse issues) on all issues related to the crisis in the Church. This new leader comes in without the same proverbial baggage. And the new Superior General is an interesting choice indeed. He is familiar with the Argentinian church and seemingly was I n charge of some aspects of the SSPX in Argentina at the time Francis gave personal recognition to SSPX as a Catholic organization in that country. And then Bishop Gallereta–also very familiar with the Argentinian church– as First Assistant forms a very knowledgeable and formidable duo to engage with the current Supreme Pontiff and perhaps close the deal for formal re-recognition of SSPX and with it, a certain measure of credibility in closing the deal when the deal is closed (and when injustices against the SSPX are made right by virtue of a no undue strings attached deal that faithful, non schismatic SSPX priests and their non schismatic parishioners can truely appreciate and rejoice for). With this hopefully event comes perhaps an opening for sympathetic Novus Ordo Catholics to cut loose from that sorry rite and affiliate with SSPX without reservations.

  11. Jack in NH says:

    We attended the ceremony when our present pastor took the oath against modernism at our newly opened FSSP parish in 2016; kinda gives one the chills, in a good way.

  12. irishromancatholic says:

    This newly elected group is just a few shades shy of +Williamson. Read the interview of the new Superior for he is clear: if Rome does not accept us as we are, then now is not the time for union. He certainly does not appear to be a diplomat. Bishop Gallereta, ahem, read his material and you realize what a total rebel looks like. Scour the internet and you will see the SSPX hardliners are cheering. I hope I am wrong, we all had hoped for their recognition, but recognition looks grim with this latest election.
    On the flip side, perhaps those good priests of the SSPX who desire full union with the Church will now be able to better discern the necessity of total attachment to the Mystical Body of Christ. We could certainly use the re-enforcement.

  13. GordonB says:

    I disagree. His position appears the same as his predecessor Fellay. It is good New that the “Resistance” is cheering though because it is a move that will help sure up that end of the Traditionalist movement, but he seems to have the pragmatic wisdom of Fellay (but again without five years of Williamson/Leftwing bashing.

  14. Gabriel Syme says:


    I hope I am wrong, we all had hoped for their recognition, but recognition looks grim with this latest election.

    I agree we all hope for the recognition of the SSPX, but disagree that this election undermines the chances.

    In the 2011 interview, the new superior makes clear that a recognition will occur when the Roman authorities rediscover Catholic tradition and recognise what Catholicism looks like. The move has to come from the hierarchy, not from the SSPX.

    There is no ‘problem’ with the SSPX, the ‘problem’ is with parts of the mainstream Church, including a large proportion of the hierarchy. You know, those folk issuing communion to adulterers, to protestants, promoting homosexuality, you-name-it. They are all at sea, completely off reservation. They are creating a new religion.

    This is no secret, but much of the Church just sits back in silence and lets the slide into protestantism continue. A few days ago, Bernard Dumont, (Editor of Catholica magazine) discussed the “unbelievable silence” from most Cardinals and Bishops on the matter. Yet you describe Bishop De Galaretta* as a “rebel”. But it is not he who treats doctrine lightly or drives a wedge between doctrine and practice. If he is indeed a rebel, then he is only a rebel against modernism.

    (*I once saw him confirm people and give a sermon in Edinburgh, UK. He doesn’t speak English and so every line he spoke had to be repeated by a translator – wow, that was a long service!).

    The actions/statements of significant parts of the mainstream Church are completely detached from Catholic doctrine, in the same way as their contemporary forms of worship are completely detached from Catholic belief and even the physical design of their Churches.

    The SSPX is just Catholic. What else can the Society do, other than just ‘be Catholic’, advance their arguments and wait for relevant authorities to finally realise this? Catholic tradition has nothing to concede to modernism.

    I really wish the current “limbo” situation of the Society was brought to an end but ultimately “full union” with an openly heterodox hierarchy is fundamentally as meaningless as the ‘good standing’ of Fr Jim Martin SJ.

  15. Dan says:

    Interesting choices for the General Assistants, one can’t help but wonder about one of them having spent time in Argentina is a very strategic move. If they make the correct appeal to the Holy Father they may become normalized under the deal possibly presented a year or so ago.

  16. gretta says:

    Given our understanding of bishops and their role, and the fact that bishops possess the fullness of orders as priest, prophet, king, how can you have leadership where a priest-superior outranks a bishop? How can you have bishops that are “merely sacramental” but who don’t govern and must submit to the leadership of a non-bishop? Do the bishops have a special status, or must they submit to the will of the Superior General? I get when you have bishops who belong to a religious order who retire as emeritus bishop and return to a community, but this isn’t that.

    This just seems theologically and ecclesiastically weird…

  17. Kathleen10 says:

    I am not asking this question in order to be provocative, I am sincerely asking.

    Why is the SSPX silent.

  18. Dan says:

    “Why is the SSPX silent”

    I was pondering on a similar question the other day, why does God seem silent? In the midst of suffering it is not God that wails and gnashes His teeth. The demons do that when they are being cast out.
    In our current culture in America there is a silent majority, sick of being manipulated, that elects a president that they believe will help uphold their Christian values, they remain silent, but who wails and gnashes their teeth? “look at all the headlines for the latest supreme court nominee for a clue.”
    In the Church there are groups that hold fast to tradition, that constantly turn the other cheek and hold their ground, that are cast out and ridiculed, but it is not them that wail and gnash their teeth. The wailing comes from those that are told they can’t Marry who they want, that they have to adhere to Catholic teaching to receive Holy Communion.

  19. Eric says:

    Why is the SSPX silent? The answer is quite simple: they are not! Has anyone saying this checked their website on what they have to say on the “current” crisis, subscribed to their email newsletter, receive the Angelus Magazine, heard a SSPX priest’s sermon, or noticed that Bishop Fellay was the ONLY bishop to sign the Correction? That they aren’t flying around the world in speaking engagements, or otherwise not losing their heads, and staying focused on the very root of these current problems is commendable, but quiet they are not.

  20. JabbaPapa says:

    quae ab inerranti Ecclesiae magisterio definita <> that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church

    Should be the Magisterium of the Church, not “teaching authority”

    Ac primum quidem Deum, rerum omnium principium et finem, naturali rationis lumine per ea quae facta sunt, hoc est per visibilia creationis opera, tamquam causam per effectus, certo cognosci, adeoque demonstrari etiam posse, profiteor <> And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated

    The Latin is I think hard to translate here, but the English does get the logic a bit backwards, with a few mistranslations thrown in.

    >>> First among which, in the light of natural reason from all created things, and of God their beginning and their end, which is to say in the Work of His visible Creation, in both cause and effect, I take certain knowledge of God and therefrom I profess that so also may as much be demonstrated.

    See, it’s not so much that God can “be known” and “be demonstrated”, as it is the priest professing the he knows and he accepts that the Divine origins are manifest through the rational means of natural reason, which is to say in Science, rather than the Error of modern times whereby Faith and Science might somehow “oppose” one another. Also, that Science is of Divine origin, NOT separated from God’s Will nor His Creation.

    Lesser errors here — sufficitur philosophicum inventum, vel creatio humanae conscientiae, hominum conatu sensim efformatae et in posterum indefinito progressu perficiendae <> a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely

    The sense of it is mostly right ; but “posterum indefinito” is intended a bit more literally as “undefined ends” (“indefinitely” is not the literal meaning of “indefinito”) and “perficiendae” also means very literally “to be carried on”.

    and so : “philosophical figments or products of human thought that have gradually been developed by human effort, and which are intended to be carried on in progression towards ends that are undefined” …

    As, I might add, the internet evangelical atheists try and impose on a daily basis.

    dottori disciplinae historicae theologicae tradendae, aut iis de rebus scribenti seponendam prius esse opinionem ante conceptam sive de supernaturali origine catholicae traditionis <> a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition

    Quibble here — “teachers and researchers” rather “a professor”

    But “opinionem ante conceptam” does NOT mean “preconceived opinion”, but it means “previously existing opinion”. Furthermore, this is dependent on the Error of such men setting aside the notion of the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition (and etc. as the text goes on), but rather these are given as (important, indeed central) examples of the sorts of Errors that they engage in.

    Technically, this first declares as an Error any academic or philosophical or theological work into these questions that were to pure and simple set aside the corpus of existing opinion (which is to say the interpretative tradition), whether this might be in the Error of putting aside the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition, or the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever, and so on as in the translation.

    Some commentary on the following :

    and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority

    One does have to be more than a little bit careful with this, even though it condemns some Errors that remain prevalent in many modern Western Universities (and in Protestant and protestantizing teaching institutions ; and sadly, more and more in Catholic ones) to this day.

    This is a condemnation of the Errors that existed in the late 19th and 20th Century Western Universities, Oxford and the Sorbonne most notably, where an overly skeptical “critical” thinking had emerged which posited the very dubious proposal that all traditional sources should be assumed as being false unless demonstrated to be true.

    Quite apart from the sheer arrogance and naïveté of this approach, and its ontological grotesqueness, this approach it was that informed the Errors of Marxist dialectic, and continues to inform the so-called “deconstructionism”, “post-structuralism”, and “post-modernism” of the intellectually poorer institutions of our own times — not to mention the idiocies of the so-called “gender ideology” and the “identity politics” and the greatly defective “multiculturalism”.

    Whereas to simply set aside existing the existing interpretative corpus as “irrelevant” or as “false by default” as those men suggested is, in the more reputable University Departments, viewed as little more than bad methodology and bad science.

    So this is where we have to be careful here — it’s not scientific principles in themselves that should be viewed as being condemned here, but their misapplication in the bad science of the 19th Century anti-clericals, the Marxists, the postmodernists, and all who embrace the bad scientific methodology of those men and their bad ideas, and in doing so embrace Modernism as such and reject the Tradition and so reject the Church, and the revelation, and God.

    And Truth, and Classical ethics and morals, and the underlying principles of the Law, and so on and on and on and on &c. ad maximam nauseam, defende nos in proelio, Sancte Michael Archangele, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.

  21. Antonin says:

    The SSPX is for all practical purposed already reconciled…bishops excommunication lifted, faculties to hear confessions explicit, ability to witness marriage basically restored subject to diocesan bishop approval which is likely going to be perfunctory.

    This is pure Romanista…..just calmly and serenely come together and the rest will just naturally take care of itself. Some Catholics are probably still ambivalent about going due to historical,polemics but that will subside soon enough too

  22. HvonBlumenthal says:

    Have you seen this story currently doing the rounds about the new SSPX Superior General?:

    I remembered a sermon many years ago given by Fr Couture. In that sermon Father mentioned a certain italian boy who at a very tender age was noted for his piety. This boy was somewhere between the age of 5 and 6. His parents ran an inn in the town where they lived. Amongs those who frequented the inn’s dining place were priests and bishops. One particular day, four priests and a bishop came to the inn to dine. In their boisterous conversation, these clerics were ridiculing the Blessed Sacrament saying how bizare it was to believe in transubstantiation. The young boy who heard what they said immedietly retorted” Jesus is truly present and I believe it. God is going to punish you for saying this!!” Taken aback by what the child said the clerics continued with their meals in silence. Fr Couture concluded: that boy became a priest later; a priest of the Society of St Pius X. That priest is none other than Don Davide Pagliarani, our new Superior General.

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