Monday, June 20, 2005


Just when you thought formal schism wasn't enough, the head of the SSPX wants a meeting with B16 -- whom they refer to as the "distant successor of Pius V."

Hmm. The "distant successor" to a saint vs. the close successor to a schismatic. And I thought it was the cons who wanted to have their cake and eat it, too.

The Lefevbrites thought they could keep it intra muros.... Honeys, this is the Roman Catholic church -- schism or not, the washing well remains.

The documents below sound exactly like the CWNews Tribunal as Levada was named to the CDF -- judgmental, catty, more "Catholic" than the Pope. But, to its credit, SSPX has the sophistication to not stoop to the depths of, say, claiming triumph when B16's "background is exposed and he CHOOSES to retire."

For the uninitiated, that gem was from a Lawlerite who thought he found Jesus by taunting Levada. It was actually the Lord-impersonator.

A source from the Society sends these presents (emphases are my own):


After the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Cardinal Ratzinger, who took the name of Benedict XVI, we are in expectation of what this pontificate will be. Obviously, Cardinal Ratzinger's past is scarcely encouraging and one might indeed well be fearful. Nevertheless, one might equally entertain some hope, however faint, for the liturgy should the Pope have the courage of the convictions he expressed as a private author in his different publications over the last few years. One of the first, keenly awaited, gestures which should give us a fairly significant indication will be his nomination for the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

It seems that, after a moment of panic, the hard-liners have begun to recuperate their position and to encircle the new pope so as to keep a free hand to continue to spread in the Church deleterious seeds. As the Anglo-Saxons say: "Wait and see . . . "

FYI, to use the term "Anglo-Saxon" is so French pejorative....

So that was the "news briefing." Here is the letter regarding the audience.

Circular Letter 2005-05EX
17 May 2005

Dear Confreres:

The election of Pope Benedict XVI after the death of John Paul II is an event that must hold the attention of the Society and its superiors, even though significant changes from the course described by the preceding pontificate probably cannot be expected. The Pope's recent authorization to open the cause of beatification of his predecessor, waiving the five-year period that is supposed to elapse first, can scarcely inspire confidence.

Nevertheless, as our beloved and venerated founder Archbishop Lefebvre did upon the election of Pope John Paul II, it seems useful and necessary to contact the new pope to request an audience. This is Bishop Fellay's intention, determined in consultation with his council, and which he desires to make known to you by this letter.

Yet, so that this intention may be rightly understood, I have been charged with explaining to you his reasoning as regards this request for an audience. What is its purpose? Above all, it is a matter of making the presence of Tradition felt at Rome, of bearing witness to what we are so that the voice of Tradition may be heard at the heart of Christendom, even if we must not have any illusions about the kind of echo it will encounter. It is an episode in the combat of the faith that we are waging, and which must necessarily also be waged in Rome.

This audience will equally be the occasion to solemnly reiterate in a personal, direct manner, the call for the restoration of the Tridentine Rite of Mass in all its rights, so that the ostracism of which it is the object may cease. It will be the occasion to remind the Pope that Cardinal Ratzinger belonged to the Commission of nine Cardinals that unanimously judged in 1986 that no one could prevent a priest from celebrating this Mass. If there was unanimity, then necessarily he must have voted thus.

Will he be responsive to this argument? It is hard to say, but it is our duty to remind him of it, and to go and proclaim the inalienable right of this rite before the distant successor of St. Pius V.

Bishop Fellay considers it very important to inform you at the outset of this initiative so that it can proceed in the light of day, and so that all the members of the Society can understand its scope and meaning. Please note well that there is no intention at this time of resuming "negotiations" of any kind.

You are asked to please inform the members of the Society entrusted to your solicitude, so that all may know the reasons for this request of an audience and its goal. On the other hand, this letter is not supposed to be disclosed outside the Society, even if experience has taught us that this type of news rarely remains "intra muros" . . .

Confiding this step to Popes St. Pius V and St. Pius X, I assure you, dear Confreres, of my prayers to the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

+ Fr. Arnaud Selegny
Secretary General

Comments, anyone?



Blogger Jeff said...

I'm not sure I'd call them "Traditionalist." How traditional is it to insist that "it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature that he be subject to the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff," and then not only refuse to do anything that Pontiff says, but sit in judgment on him from a high, high height?

How much better all the latest Popes come off than these bits of fragments of schisms tearing at each other like cats, bless their hearts.

20/6/05 19:23  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

With all due respect to those of the French persuasion, is it my imagination or does Fellay/Econe speaking to Rome/Benedict XVI sound like Chirac speaking to the United States of America?

There's that same arrogant superiority and delusion of importance: "We must do this" and "We must say that" and "We must remind the Pope" - mon Dieu! Noblesse oblige!

And all Hormisdas can do is focus on the (very clever) title, missing the point that these people are, as was said of the Jansenist Cistercian Nuns of Port Royale, "Pure as angles and proud as devils." (And not to upset Hormisdas further but, from what I've heard of Econe and the SSPX, I'm not so sure even about the angels part!).

20/6/05 19:30  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

Well, oldlatinmass, that surely cleared up Jeff's mischaracterization and enlightened everyone else who reads this as well.

When you call someone illiterate, don't you have a corresponding obligation - at least as a Spiritual Work of Mercy - to instruct him otherwise (not to mention a corresponding point of honor to show us that YOU know what YOU'RE talking about?).

You've labelled, thank you - now enlighten, please.

20/6/05 21:02  
Blogger Jeff said...

Does the SSPX accept and live under the Holy Jurisdiction of the Pope? Or are they in open rebellion against it?

Of course, they are in rebellion, but, "for a very good reason." Schismatics ALWAYS have a very good reason.

And as far as literacy goes, at least I know enough to write, "borders *on* illiteracy" rather than "borders illiteracy."

I go to an Indult Mass every Sunday and know some very sweet SSPXers and Feeneyites and Sede Vacantists. I can make excuses for them and often do--they have been sorely scandalized. But I'm not having any of this high-and-mighty tone from them; THEY are not in a position to judge the Pope. THEY are not in a position to judge what the true Tradition is.

"I will believe that the Black that I see is White if the Hierarchical Church tells me that it is so." St. Ignatius Loyola.

That's the watchword; stand with Peter and God will take care of the rest.

20/6/05 21:32  
Blogger Jacob said...

This little debate has been as informative as the actual post by the blogger. I ought to get to know the SSPX people a little better. It would make a most interesting topic to look at.


20/6/05 22:57  
Blogger Jeff said...

Oh, for heaven's sake!

The quote does not originate from SSPX, but from Boniface VIII's Bull Unam Sanctam and is an infallibly defined Catholic dogma:

""Now, therefore, we declare, say, determine and pronounce that for every human creature it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the authority of the Roman pontiff" (Porro subesse Romano Pontifici omni humanae creaturae declaramus, dicimus, definimus, et pronuntiamus omnino esse de necessitate salutis)."


20/6/05 23:32  
Blogger oldlatinmass said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

21/6/05 00:29  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

Memo to oldlatinmass . . . take your meds, luv . . . quickly. Ducolax works wonders too, just before Compline.

What a snoot.

The attitude reminds me of The Friendly Face of Traditional Catholicism that you so often meet at Trad Chapels.

Povera chiesa . . . the Left is nice but nuts, the Right is nuts and nasty . . .

Better stay with Benedict XVI, I guess.

21/6/05 01:02  
Blogger Jeff said...

The Left is only nice when they are in control and you DON'T CROSS THEM! Otherwise, they are even more vicious than the Trads.

But you're right on the solution--stick with Peter.

21/6/05 10:57  
Blogger Stephen Hand said...

"Povera chiesa . . . the Left is nice but nuts, the Right is nuts and nasty . . . "

In my considerable experience the left is just "nuts" theologically, while the trads and Americanist conservatives (not the others) tend to be both theologically off kilter AND vile / vicious at almost every opportunity. It comes with bashing the Pope every five minutes.

21/6/05 14:45  
Blogger Jeff said...

Well, I don't believe your experience can be all that great if you haven't seen examples of the Left being vicious. Usually, people who say that are in sympathy with what the Left wants, and so viciousness, like destroying the reputations of priests for minor transgressions or keeping potential seminarians out of seminary because they won't toe the new line on contraception is not REALLY viciousness, because it's justified, unlike that of the Right.

Just the old "Whose ox is getting gored" story.

The Left trashes the Pope all the time, but prefers to ignore and belittle him.

22/6/05 18:25  
Blogger Richard said...

I say lift the indult requirement once and for all and see what happens.

This has certain inescapable logic:

1) The Church has never, as Ratzinger pointed out, forbidden a previous rite as was done with the Tridentine Rite after 1970. The indult requirement - let us be honest - too often functions as a practical ban, even after Ecclesia Dei.

2) There is the suspicion that what really bugs the SSPXers is not the liturgy but the whole Vatican II baggage. Otherwise, why not join up with FSSP or one of the other sanctioned Tridentine Rite societies?

Take away their liturgical beef - which has some validity - and then we'll find out if that was really just a front for their other objections to Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium Et Spes, etc.

As a side note, I recently read somewhere that more than half of the ordinations in France are now from traditionalist orders. It may well be that dumping the indult will make les francais a little happier. Traditionalism may well be the future (and not just the past) of the French Church.

best regards
Richard Lender

24/6/05 15:25  
Blogger Blogger said...

Just for the record, Rocco, the head of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Cardinal Hoyos, said there is no "formal schism" w/the SSPX. So you're dead wrong on that point.

1/1/06 18:05  

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