Bp. Athanasius Schneider insists for SSPX prelature

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This week, an interview with Bp. Athanasius Schneider was published on the Spanish blog Adelante la Fe. Much of the interview covered the current state of the Church and the world, with considerable discussion about the Society of St. Pius X.  I will not summarize again what he said, as the link above should explain the pertinent points sufficiently.  Our readers should agree that Bp. Schneider made many excellent statements in this interview, and that His Excellency continues to do good in the “official” Church structures as one of the most traditional-leaning bishops.  However, with much respect, there are a few statements from this interview that stand out as a bit concerning.       

Now, to briefly review, where does the situation with the SSPX and Rome currently stand?  Bp. Tissier de Mallerais, who was arguably the priest in the Society closest to Abp. Lefebvre, explains: http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/bishop-tissier-interview-la-porte-latine-14983         

Now, 25 years after the death of Archbishop Lefebvre, where is the future of the Society?

Things are becoming clearer. During our pilgrimage to Rome in the year 2000, we were charmed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who urged John Paul II to recognize the Society unilaterally. Then Benedict XVI granted us two “preliminary requirements“: the recognition of the freedom of the traditional Mass and the lifting (more or less fortunate, for us and for him) of the 1988 excommunications. In 2010-2011, we had planned doctrinal discussions: in total disagreement! Our Superior General Bishop Fellay pursued the negotiations and caused some worry, until it became clear, in May and June 2012, that Benedict XVI still required as a condition, as he had said plainly at the start, that we accept the Council and the legitimacy of the reforms. It was a failure. But now there is very clearly a disposition on Pope Francis’ side to recognize us without these conditions. We say “Prudence! ” For things are moving and progress is still needed.

Archbishop Lefebvre never laid down as a condition for us to be recognized by Rome that Rome abandon the errors and the conciliar reforms. Even if he did say something like that to Andre Cagnon in 1990, he would never have done so, because that was never his line of conduct, his strategy with modernist Rome. He was strong in the Faith, he did not yield on his doctrinal position, but he knew how to be flexible, patient, and prudent in practice. To achieve his ends, his prudence told him to push the adversary, to harass him, make him step back, persuade him, but without blocking him with conditions that he still finds unacceptable. He did not refuse dialogue and was disposed to take advantage of every door opened by his interlocutor. It is in this sense that a certain opportunism, a certain “pragmatism” has been seen in him, and it is true: it is a small virtue annexed to the cardinal virtue of prudence. Sagacity, practical wisdom, is the neighbor of solertia, mentioned by Aristotle, St. Thomas (2-2, q. 48) and the Gaffiot, which is a skill in finding means to obtain one’s ends.  Archbishop Lefebvre requested with acumen “that we at least be tolerated”: “this would be a major advance,” he said. And “that we be recognized as we are,” that is, with our practice that follows from our doctrinal positions. Well, today we see in Rome a disposition to bear our existence and our theoretical and practical positions. I say “bear” because one tolerates evil!

Already, doctrinally, they no longer force us to admit “the whole Council” or religious liberty; some of the errors we denounce are on the point of being considered by our interlocutors as open for free discussion, or continued debate. This is progress. We discuss, but they have to admit that we are not changing and it is unlikely that we will change. And in practice, we ask these Romans: “Recognize our right to reconfirm the faithful conditionally,” and “Recognize the validity of our marriages!” You see, these are serious bones of contention. They will have to grant us these things. Otherwise, how could our recognition be livable?

It may take some time, but there is a God!

And an all-powerful Mediatrix!”

The last paragraph is especially important and it seems that many Traditional Catholics may not be aware of this part of the Society’s position.  Rome must recognize that the Society will continue just as it has always been.  Rome must specifically acknowledge the Society’s right to reject not only the errors of Vatican II and the New mass, but everything that they have often found contention with such as accepting the Society’s right to perform marriages, conditionally re-confirm, baptize, and ordain (when necessary), for the faithful to receive their sacraments at SSPX chapels exclusively from SSPX priests and bishops, etc

Bp. Fellay elaborates on this position in his recent conference in New Zealand here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oKWpVGirL0 (at approximately 6:30).  Virtually the entire Society is unified on this position.  It is clear that this position might be quite a “pipe dream” at the moment, but we shall see!  The Society wishes to have as many protections as possible; it recognizes the gravity of the situation.  None of our positions will be compromised!  We are Catholic and will remain Catholic!

Concerning the interview of Bp. Schneider, these statements would appear to be the most concerning:

 “I am convinced that in the present circumstances, Msgr. Lefebvre would accept the canonical proposal of a personal prelature without hesitation”

If sufficient protections are not in place, would Abp. Lefebvre risk true doctrine for recognition?  Abp. Lefebvre never compromised on Tradition and did not accept the back-and-forth wavering of Rome during the Society’s 1988 Discussions.  There is still wavering now; the recognition for the Society to continue as they are is not yet clear.  To simply proceed with “faith” and “trust” is dangerous.  How many have proceeded with just a “trust” in Rome (e.g. Campos, FSSP, etc.) and have been forced into submission and compromise?  In these present circumstances of necessity, it is all the more important for the Society to be firm.  

 “If the Fathers of Vatican II witnessed a Mass like the one we know today and a traditional Mass, the majority would say that the traditional Mass is what they want, and not the other…The traditional liturgy is the liturgy of Vatican II, perhaps with small changes.”

 If the majority of Council Fathers would truly prefer the Traditional Mass, then why did they accept the New mass so easily?  It is also debatable whether the majority of Council Fathers were tradition-minded. After it became abundantly clear that the Council was being infiltrated by Modernism, how many of the 2,400 bishops joined the group of Council bishops fighting for Tradition (the Coetus Internationalis Patrum)?  250, at the most.  Yes, Modernism had begun to infiltrate the hierarchy well before Vatican II.  

Also, is the traditional liturgy really the liturgy of Vatican II?  And are the “few small changes” really that minor?  Many “conservative” Catholics see the principles of Vatican II implemented best in the 1965 rubrics, which supposedly is only slightly different from the Traditional Missal.  In reality, however, these 1965 changes opened the door to compromise (especially in opening up to the vernacular!) and very easily paved the way for the full-blown Novus Ordo Missae.  Many priests and bishops also started to experiment even more with the 1965 rubrics and did most Council Fathers do much to stop them?

Those bishops in the “mainstream” Church who are doing their best to oppose abuses do very well in diagnosing the symptoms, but have yet to come to the full realization of the problem.  Until they recognize the full extent of the errors of Vatican II and the New Mass, their fight will be incomplete.  We most certainly applaud these prelates, however, for all the good they do.  We pray that they continue to be faithful in their stand and continue to grow ever more in Tradition!  May God bless them for their abundant good will!

~ Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition” 


15 thoughts on “Bp. Athanasius Schneider insists for SSPX prelature

  1. Harry Martin

    I am a convert who entered into full communion in the Church much because of the many graces our Lord brought through the reforms. I deeply appreciate the Tridentine traditions. However I find the judgement against and negation of the Novus Ordo liturgies tragic. That they seek to confine our Lord, who is eternal and omnipresent, to a very specific type and tradition seems contrary to both Scripture and Tradition. To negate all the centuries of Liturgy prior to The Traditional formula, those after the Council, or to demand only one language seems, to me, to defy the very definition of..Catholic. And as I encounter the intense elitism and arrogance with which us lesser mortals (some would question if we are even Catholics) I wonder what our Lord who gave us His Real Eucharistic Presence must feel in His Sacred Heart. Was not His Sacred Body broken that we would be made whole? I love Latin, the rich expressions of Liturgy found in the Tridentine Mass but I will always believe the Sacrifice of the Mass is not meant to be a elite spiritual country club but a time and place where souls can hear, receive and follow Jesus our Emmanuel, God with us, regardless of time, language, or specific traditions. Pax et bonum.


    1. Steven C. Post author

      May God bless you for entering into the Church and for appreciating the “Tridentine traditions”, as you call them. However, many of the points you presented fall far short of what the Church has always believed and practiced.

      You speak about negating the liturgy used in the centuries before the Tridentine Rite. This is incorrect; Pope St. Pius V was not at all inventing a New mass, but was simply acknowledging that he, as well as all Popes, were bound by the Tradition of the Church. The supposed great differences in the “pre-Tridentine liturgy” are greatly exaggerated. http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/newmass/qprimum.htm

      Traditional Catholics do not find a problem with any good contained in the Novus Ordo Missae(mostly taken from the Traditional Mass), but in what it lacks. It also was purposely made ambiguous so as to attract a false spirit of “ecumenism”. It is also very difficult to trust a rite formulated by the Freemason Fr. Annibale Bugnini and six Protestant ministers. http://sspx.org/en/faq-page/what-is-wrong-with-the-novus-ordo-missae-faq5

      “The day the Church abandons her universal tongue [Latin] is the day before she returns to the catacombs.” – Pope Pius XII

      The Church’s exclusive use of Latin is in no way “elitist” and allows for a truly great unity, as you wish to advocate. I encourage you to read these quotes from even more recent Popes: https://www.stpeterslist.com/7383/14-quotes-on-latin-in-the-church-by-sources-youd-might-not-expect/


      We only wish you all the best and applaud the good intentions you have shown. If you have truly encountered a genuine lack of charity amongst a few Catholics who hold to Tradition, then we apologize. These Catholics would not be entirely following the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We encourage you to research with good Catholic newspapers and magazines and to speak and become acquainted with Traditional priests and like-minded faithful. May God bless you.


  2. Mark Thomas

    “If the majority of Council Fathers would truly prefer the Traditional Mass, then why did they accept the New mass so easily? It is also debatable whether the majority of Council Fathers were tradition-minded. After it became abundantly clear that the Council was being infiltrated by Modernism, how many of the 2,400 bishops joined the group of Council bishops fighting for Tradition (the Coetus Internationalis Patrum)? 250, at the most.”

    Hello. I came across your blog via a Twitter link. I would like please to offer the following.
    During the Second Sacred Vatican Ecumenical Council, I don’t believe that “membership,” if you will, in the International Group of Fathers was necessary to prove one’s Catholic credentials.

    For example, during Vatican II, Archbishop Lefebvre favored radical liturgical in regard to the use of vernacular. He desired to inflict heavy vernacularization upon the Mass of the Catechumens.

    Therefore, a bishop who, in regard to liturgy, was more traditional than Archbishop Lefebvre in regard to the issue of vernacularization, may have considered it unproductive to join the International Group of Fathers.

    Put simply, as has been the case throughout Church history, when our bishops have gathered via Councils, they have exhibited great diversity in regard as to how they approach Church-related issues.

    Therefore, the notion that at Vatican II (or any Council), that there existed, for example, a one-size-fits-all group for so-called “traditional” bishops is untenable.

    Besides, if the majority of bishops at Vatican II were not “tradition-minded,” then why did Archbishop Lefebvre grant his approval to Vatican II’s documents that so-called “modernists” had composed?

    Thank you.


    Mark Thomas


    1. Steven C. Post author

      Mr. Thomas,

      First of all, can you tell me where you find this evidence about the Archbishop and these “radical reforms”? I cannot locate anything that suggests what you told us. A slight “reform” in this direction, however, would not necessarily be considered a break with Tradition. Michael Davies in Pope Paul’s New Mass explains:

      “Leaving aside the question of electronic aids, it is obvious that the priest will be more audible if facing the people. The question then arises as to whether the Mass needs to be audible. An important distinction must be made here between those parts which are addressed to God and those parts which are addressed to the people, and this is one respect in which there was a place for reform. Certain parts of the Mass are intended for the instruction of the people, the Epistle and Gospel are obvious examples. Prior to the Council these were first read in Latin at the altar and then in the vernacular by the priest facing the people [Ed: in pulpit, prior to sermon]. It would have been a reasonable extension of the reform undertaken by Pope Pius XII had the rubrics been modified so that the parts of the Mass intended for the instruction of the people could have been read to them directly in the vernacular. Those who would oppose such a development are not traditionalists but immobilists. An immobilist is opposed to any change simply because it is a change. It is understandable that many traditionalists, rightly horrified by the destruction of the Roman Rite, have developed an immobilist attitude and oppose any change whatsoever. They would make no distinction between a change without serious doctrinal implications, such as the abolition of the Offertory Prayers, and one with no such significance, such as the congregation singing the Pater Noster in a Missa Cantata.

      The Dialogue Mass is an accepted practice among French traditionalists, while some English traditionalists look upon it as tantamount to Modernism. Such an attitude plays into the hands of the Modernists as it enables them to fabricate a caricature of the true traditionalist position.” (p.438-439)

      I cannot even find evidence that the Archbishop favored these reforms, however. Also, it is debatable whether the Archbishop even signed all of the Vatican II documents and whether this is actually of true significance. Fr. Peter Scott, SSPX, explained this several times, but I can only find at the moment a copy of a letter to a layman. I’ve posted it below.

      “Dear Mr. Protomanni,

      I thank you for your message concerning the question of whether or not Archbishop Lefebvre signed the documents of Vatican II. Here is what I can say. He himself constantly and repeatedly stated that he signed all but two documents, but did not sign the two worst documents, namely those on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae) and the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et spes). When it was pointed out that his signature was on these documents, he responded that what he signed was the list of the bishops present for the vote, but not the documents themselves.

      Bishop Tissier de Mallerais in his biography of the Archbishop maintains
      that he had a memory lapse, and that he did in fact sign those documents, but afterwards forgot about it. Although this could be comprehensible after a 20 year interval, it does seem a little much that the Archbishop would have erred on such an important point.

      Be that as it may, the Archbishop did not state that Vatican II was openly and explicitly heretical, but simply that it contained dangerous errors that favored heresy. It was for this reason that he was willing to accept Vatican II “interpreted in the light of Tradition” – which means excluding those errors that are contrary to the Church’s Magisterial teaching (such as religious liberty and ecumenism). Consequently, it would not have been in contradiction with his principles to have signed documents that could be “interpreted in the light of Tradition”. This is the explanation of his certainly having signed other documents that also contain errors, such as Dei Verbum, which contains serious errors on the sources of revelation and Lumen Gentium, which contains serious errors on the Church. Furthermore, the fact that he constantly and unchangingly stood up against the errors of Vatican II, from the very time of the Council, indicates that he cannot be incriminated for a moment in adhering to these errors or professing his Faith in an ambiguous manner. The question of whether or not he actually signed these documents is consequently a rather irrelevant historical detail.

      Yours faithfully in Christ Our King and Mary our Queen,

      Father Peter R. Scott

      It is true that at Church Councils, bishops may propose “diverse” methods of approaching issues, but they cannot propose solutions that are erroneous and sinful. This is what happened with the infiltration of Modernism at Vatican II.

      Finally, the only true mission of The International Group of Fathers was to prevent Modernism from taking over at Vatican II. Any minor differences otherwise would be comparatively trivial. It might not have been absolutely necessary to join to prove oneself Catholic, but to not show support would, at the very least, seem to show indifference. And, as it turned out, only Abp. Lefebvre and Bp. de Castro Mayer(with perhaps Cardinal Ottaviani and Bacci and a few older prelates) ended up fulfilling their duties without compromise in regards to Tradition. Any prelate more traditional did not sufficiently make a stand after Vatican II. This is not to condemn good intentions, but to simply state the truth.

      May God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mark Thomas

        Steven C. said…”First of all, can you tell me where you find this evidence about the Archbishop and these “radical reforms”? I cannot locate anything that suggests what you told us.”

        Hello, Steven C. Peace be with you and your family. Thank you for the opportunity to read and post comments to your blog.

        I noted that Archbishop Lefebvre supported the heavy vernacularization of the Mass of the Catechumens. Here is information about that from none other than Angelus Press


        On that SSPX link, we find the following about the book The Mass of All Time, which “is a collection of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s sermons, classes and notes on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass…a compendium of what he taught on the Mass – its rites, spirit, prayers, theology, spirituality, and grace. Many of these texts have never been published before.”

        “Angleus Press has published a compilation of the writings and discourses of Archbishop Lefebrve on the theology and spirituality of the Mass and on the liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council.

        “How many people know that he was in favour of the vernacular for the readings at Mass, and indeed for most of the first part of the Mass called the Mass of Catechumens?”


        Mark Thomas


    2. Steven C. Post author

      Peace be with you as well, sir! I am pleased when our readers participate and leave thoughtful comments. Some debating and discussions might follow, but Catholic gentlemen are the best equipped for handling this well. 🙂

      I believe Angelus Press featured the review by Dr. Alcuin Reid since he is an internationally recognized scholar and it is significant for one of these scholars to recognize Abp. Lefebvre with much positivity. The Society does not agree with all of his work, but if Angelus Press provided his review for this collection, then I assume this statement would probably be correct. I would still like to verify with an actual quote from Fr. Troadec’s collection, which I unfortunately have not yet read, but it makes little difference for purposes of my argument. All of my points in my previous response(especially from Michael Davies’ book) still apply. Much of the New mass completely exceeded any allowable liturgical reform based in Tradition, while the Pius XII Holy Week Reforms, the 1962 Missale Romanum, and Abp. Lefebvre’s (putative) propositions did not.


      1. Mark Thomas

        Steven C said…<<>>

        Thank you for your reply.

        You are correct that the Novus Ordo, in various ways, exceeded that which is rooted in Holy Tradition.

        I disagree respectfully in regard to your comment about Pope Venerable Pius XII’s (Holy Week) liturgical reforms. The reality is that Pope Venerable Pius XII enacted radical liturgical reforms.

        I believe without question that Pope Venerable Pius XII was a holy man. For that matter, I believe that we’ve been blessed with holy Popes from his Pontificate to date. But the fact is that Pope Pius XII’s liturgical reforms were recognized during the 1950s by numerous Churchmen as having been radical liturgical reforms.

        Steven, I am not certain as to your age, but I assure you, for example, that such leading Churchmen as Cardinal Spellman (who was my Ordinary) expressed considerable dismay in regard to Pope Venerable Pius XII’s Holy Week reforms.

        Cardinal Spellman was a loyal and close friend of Pope Venerable Pius XII. In fact, it was Pope Venerable Pius XII who had raised Cardinal Spellman to the rank of Cardinal.

        Nevertheless, Cardinal Spellman, as well as numerous Churchmen, had expressed their displeasure in regard to Pope Venerable Pius XII’s radical reforms in question.

        Please note that the concern with Pope Venerable Pius XII’s radical reforms does not in any way detract from that fact that he was a holy and great man of God.

        Steven, thank you for the opportunity to participate on your (and the Damsel of the Faith) excellent and important blog.

        Thank you for your witness to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His One True Church, and important promotion of the Traditional Latin Mass.


        Mark Thomas


    3. Steven C. Post author

      Apologies for the delay in responding. First week at a new job requires a bit of adjusting, of course.

      I keep getting the feeling while reading your posts that you might be ordained. Is this true, sir? 🙂

      Both of the blog authors are a bit on the young side, but I know that, with due respect, some of Cardinal Spellman’s actions are not always thought of as orthodox. For example, taken from a 1996 conference by Bp. Richard Williamson in Phoenix:

      “So let us recall briefly the history of the intervention of Americanists at Vatican II, admirably well told in Michael Davies’ book Vatican II and Religious Liberty. Many know that the champion of religious liberty at Vatican II was an American priest, Fr. John Courtney Murray. What few people know is that the Jesuit superiors of John Courtney Murray forbade him to attend the Council and hence he missed the first of the four council sessions in 1962. It was on the insistence of Card. Spellman of New York that Fr. Murray was able to attend the Council from the second session onwards in order to guide on the floor of the Council the drawing up and presentation of the six successive texts of the Declaration on Religious Liberty. Now Card. Spellman passes for being a friend of Pius XII and a great conservative amongst American cardinals! This suggests just how much we need some revisionists to rewrite the true history of the Church before Vatican II.”

      I’m well aware of the protests by some of the Pius XII Holy Week Reforms. By itself, a few prelates who may have initially opposed it does not make it bad. After all, I’m sure a few Jansenists opposed the wonderful reforms instituted by St. Pius X, who made more “changes” to the breviary and certain liturgical preferences than Pius XII and John XIII combined! Although the few prelates may have been surprised by the Pius XII reforms as such had not been seen in a long time, those living after Vatican II ought to have properly resisted the Novus Ordo liturgy for their criticisms to be further validated. It is interesting that those who will most be remembered for maintaining Tradition found nothing against the faith in these Holy Week reforms. The good judgement of Cardinal Ottaviani, Padre Pio, Abp. Lefebvre, and others should serve as a guide for Catholics during these times. It is mostly sedevacantist priests who believe so today. Even the insistent sedevacantist priest Fr. Cekada admits that there is nothing against the faith initially in these Holy Week reforms, but that they became bad in retrospect after the new mass(which is quite a ridiculous argument).

      I concur with the position of the SSPX on these reforms. The Society does actually, in fact, include many of the minor omissions in the rubrics that were no longer made mandatory in the official “reforms”.

      Fr. Peter Scott:

      Question: Could you please explain the discrepancies in the ceremonies for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday that I see in different traditional chapels?

      Answer: The key to understanding the minor differences that a traditional Catholic sometimes sees is the Restoration of the ceremonies of Holy Week. This was done by Pope Pius XII in two stages, the restoration of the Easter Vigil being decreed in 1951, and of Holy Thursday and Good Friday in November 1955. The changes were not great. The most obvious is the returning of the ceremonies to the original times, that corresponded with the events that were celebrated. The reason given in the decree of November 30, 1955 Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria is to promote the assistance of the faithful, whose customary absence from these ceremonies was a cause of great regret, given not only the extraordinary dignity of these ceremonies, but also their special sacramental power and efficacy to nourish the Christian life.

      Consequently, it was decided that the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (In Coena Domini) for Maundy Thursday would be celebrated henceforth in the evening, starting not before 5:00 p.m. nor after 8:00 p.m., this coinciding with the time of the Last Supper. To the Mass was added the optional ceremony of the washing of the feet (previous celebrated separately), symbolizing thereby the charity of Christ towards his disciples that inspired Him to give them His body and blood. The evening procession to the altar of repose is symbolic of the apostles accompanying Our Divine Lord into the garden of Gethsemane.

      The time of the ceremony for Good Friday was also changed to the afternoon, after the time of Our Lord’s death on the cross, namely from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m. The ceremony has barely changed except that the last part is no longer called the “Mass of the Presanctified”, but simply a Holy Communion service.

      The Holy Saturday Vigil was restored to the original time of a Vigil, such that the Mass begins around midnight. The ceremonies were somewhat simplified, notably by reducing the number of lessons from 12 to 4, in order to make the ceremony more accessible for the faithful. The above mentioned decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites explains the symbolism of this change:
      “First of all it is imperative that the faithful should be instructed about the unique liturgical character of Holy Saturday. This is the day of the most intense sorrow, the day on which the Church tarries at the Lord’s tomb, meditating about His Passion and death. While the altar remains stripped, the Church abstains from the sacrifice of the Mass until, after the solemn vigil or the nocturnal wait for the Resurrection, there come the Easter joys, the abundance of which carries over to the days that follow.

      The intention and purpose of the vigil is to point out and to recall in the liturgical service how our life and grace have flowed from the Lord’s death. And so, Our Lord Himself is shown under the sign of the paschal candle as ‘the light of the world’ (Jn 8:12) who has put the darkness of our sins to flight by the grace of His light.”

      The experience of the Church has proven the wisdom of this restoration of the primitive custom, of these minor changes, that help us to truly share with Our Lord the sacred moments of Holy Week. These restored Holy Week ceremonies will be seen in all the churches of the Society of Saint Pius X. However, there remain some traditional priests who confuse this authentic restoration with the post-conciliar revolution of the New Mass, and who refuse to accept these well balanced and duly authorized rubrical changes. These are in general sedevacantists, who maintain that there has been no Pope since Pius XII, and that Pius XII was no longer able to govern during the last years of his Papacy. It is true that during the 50s Fr. Bugnini and the liturgical movement were gathering speed for the liturgical revolution of the new Mass. However, the examination of the text and reasons given for these changes puts the lie to the accusations that they are impregnated with modernism, and that Pope Pius XII who wrote in 1947 a magnificent encyclical, Mediator Dei, condemning the abuses of the liturgical movement, had lost control.


  3. Mark Thomas

    “To simply proceed with “faith” and “trust” is dangerous. How many have proceeded with just a “trust” in Rome (e.g. Campos, FSSP, etc.) and have been forced into submission and compromise? ”

    I believe that Campos and the FSSP have done very well in regard to their having brought the ancient Roman Mass and Holy Tradition to many Catholics.

    As regard to submission…Holy Mother Church teaches that we are to submit to the Roman Pontiff. That is what Catholics are called to do as we know for certainty that “in the Apostolic See the Catholic Religion has always been preserved immaculate.”

    Where Peter is, there is the Church.

    I pray that His Holiness Pope Francis, who from his days in Argentina, has always been a great spiritual father and friend to the SSPX, will regularize the Society of Saint Pius X.

    That would benefit the Church and, of course, the SSPX. Many Catholics would like to attach themselves to SSPX chapels. However, said Catholics refuse to do so as the Society’s status within the Church is irregular. That would change should Rome regularize the SSPX.


    Mark Thomas


    1. Steven C. Post author

      I’ll be addressing the position of the Ecclesia Dei orders in a post soon. To briefly summarize: These orders have done well in bringing the Traditional Mass and Sacraments to those who might not otherwise have them. For this, they deserve much credit. However, they were formed on the condition that they accept(at least on paper) all of Vatican II and the liciety of the New mass, which is a compromise. Rome also puts heavy pressure on these orders to accept various other compromises and the bishops often only allow their Mass Centers where a fully traditional chapel is already established. We certainly applaud all of the good they do and pray that they may simply take that next step!

      Recommended links:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mghxuwo-Gec (I apologize for the wolf picture on the cover of the video, but the one who uploaded is not connected to the priests talking in the video.)

      It is true that we are to submit to the Roman Pontiff, although we are obliged not to do so when he preaches that which is sinful or against the Faith. The Society is in this “irregular” situation because it was the best possible way that they could keep the Faith uncompromised. It is truly Rome who is irregular at the moment. I recommend you read the Society’s website in regards as to why their stance is justified.

      That being said, it is true that Pope Francis has apparently shown genuine charity to some traditional Catholics even before becoming Pope such as the SSPX and Fr. Gruner. However, this is clear that this love is not based on doctrine or traditions, but on more natural considerations such as “doing good works”. Perhaps this is his way of reaching out to the “peripheries of life?” Some of his statements about “fundamentalism” against Traditionalists and the situation with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are nevertheless quite concerning, as is also the current situation with the Dubia. The time for a sufficient prelature may not have arrived yet. But, if the Society’s discussions continue to proceed well(see Bp. Tissier and Bp. Fellay above as to how that would be done), then may God’s Holy Will be done. Sometimes God does work in the most unexpected of ways. This may eventually turn out to be the beginning of a complete restoration in the “official” Church structures. We must continue to pray.

      God bless you.


  4. Steven C. Post author

    I believe this linked article stands upon a false premise. There are many excessive statements based upon the positions of the so-called “resistance”, which the authors of the blog do not support. We support the statements of Bp. Fellay and Bp. Tissier de Mallerais that we provided in this post. I will post again a response I made several months ago to a mini-debate that (perhaps unfortunately) escalated on this blog about the “resistance”, in addition to recommending a couple of other links. You can see all of the “debate” here if you wish: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/bishop-fellays-interview-with-national-catholic-register/

    Additional recommended links:

    My previous response:

    Nor do we attach labels to you, Steve. We are all souls grappling for the truth in this diabolically disoriented modern world. And how we all struggle with temptations! All that Damsel of the Faith here does proves that she does not turn her back to anyone, nor will I in making a response.

    We understand that you have copied this discussion onto your Twitter account. This is fine, but I would encourage you and your supporters to please not turn this into an endless discussion. Damsel and I are both in school and have many other important duties to fulfill. This blog is not meant to be an endless chat side, but a beacon of hope and truth in our poor church and poor world.

    I’d also like to say a word about unity in the Society and in our parishes. I have served for SSPX priests for over 8 years and know a considerable amount of the priests in the U.S. District. Moreover, I frequently read bulletins and newsletters from other parishes. I obviously cannot speak for the priests themselves, however, I can honestly say that there appears to be a wonderful unity amongst the priests and religious. Not a single one I know has written or said anything that indicates discontent with the current leadership or strategy. I’m happy to say that this goes for our parishes as well. Although the two parishes I’m closest to did in fact have trials from 2012-2013, we have regained a profound unity, perhaps even stronger than ever before. Also, even though a few people may have left us, Providence has given us some new parishioners to help strengthen us, especially at one of the chapels.

    I am certainly not advocating that we have an unnatural devotion to Bp. Fellay. I would be arguing the same no matter who was the Superior General. However, he does earn a certain amount of respect and trust based on his position and his experience. As Superior General, he’s obviously known more and seen more than any of us have. By the way, one could turn around and make the same argument about factions of the Resistance supporting Bp. Williamson or Fr. Pfeiffer.

    This unity of the Society appears to stretch around the world presently, as all of the district superiors, seminary rectors and professors, and those in significant positions seem to be behind the General House. What is the proof you have, Steve, of how so many priests are simply being private about this?Less and less priests and faithful leave as the months and now years go by. Can this be seen in the ‘resistance’? I don’t know. You have the “Kentucky” faction, which is essentially resisting the resistance after only 3 years. This is exemplified by the spirit of Pablo the Mexican, who is a prominent figure in all of this, who insists that there are only two really good priests left in the world, Pfeiffer and Hewko, while both Bps. Fellay and Williamson are leading souls to perdition. Bp. Tomas Aquino didn’t even invite Frs. J. Pfeiffer and Hewko to his episcopal consecration. You have quite a significant portion of the resistance saying that Bp. Williamson has become too soft on matters such as the new mass and current attendance at SSPX Masses, while the supporters of Bp. Williamson will point out that these people have basically gone cuckoo and are on the brink of schism. It’s something to remember that Frs. J. Pfeiffer and Hewko were 2 of the original 5 resistance founders.

    As for Bishop Williamson, I certainly praise and thank him for all of the very wonderful work he has done for the Society in the past. He trained the very best of priests, ready to be faithful soldiers of Christ. However, I cannot agree on his recent independent “loose cell” approach nor of his positions on the “conciliar church”, which I’ll address in a bit. Also, the actions he did against the General House, such as giving Confirmations in South America without any permission whatsoever or by refusing to shut off his blog, clearly violated lawful rules given to him by his superiors. Really, what did his superiors tell him to do that was offensive to God? Fr. Laisney has already addressed what I’ve just mentioned. Read his article on the Angelus Press Blog, http://angeluspress.org/blog/the-pseudo-anti-liberal-illusion/, as well as his responses to Fr. Chazal, http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Society_of_Saint_Pius_X/2013-04-19_Fr_Laisneys_answer_to_%20Fr_Chazal.pdf, and to Bp. Williamson, http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Society_of_Saint_Pius_X/2013-04-13_FL_Answer_to_Bishop_Williamson.pdf

    Moreover, the resistance does not possess a proper understanding of the Four Marks in the Church or of the visibility of the church, as proven in this article from Tradicat: http://tradicat.blogspot.com/2014/02/sspx-and-resistance-comparison-of.html.

    I cannot refute every word you’ve said, Steve, because of my time and the amount of space I would take up on this blog. I will now focus on a few of the most important things you mentioned. I could say a LOT more about all of this, but time and proper space limit me. Perhaps some of our commenters can help fill in the gaps.

    The biggest discrepancy I can see is the definition of the term “conciliar church” as how the Archbishop and the Society have understood it, compared to how the sedevacantists and now the resistance interpret it. As demonstrated from the following links, the Archbishop and the Society present the “conciliar church” as being like a virus or a faulty spirit that has infected the structures of the Catholic Church, not as an entirely separate and schismatic structure from the Catholic Church as the sedevacantists and resistance claim.


    When looking at the statements of the Archbishop and others in this light, it’s abundantly clear that they say to avoid the “conciliar church”, they mean to reject the conciliar system of errors, not necessarily the entire proper structure of the Church itself. As for the Bp. Tissier sermon about us not becoming a sect, I will note that this quote was from 2012, when the situation with Rome was much more uncertain. Also, Fr. Rostand noted in one of the interviews with James Vogel that there is no urgent need for “reconciliation” in and of itself, we’re fine as we are. However, when it comes to the context of Rome giving the Society an offer without compromise, Fr. Wegner notes: “The other option is to refuse Rome’s offer. Those in favor of a refusal note that the SSPX would thus remain undisturbed and would be able to safely continue its vital apostolate as it has for the past few decades. Some, however, fear that such a refusal may well lead to true schism. The Pope, after all, may in all sincerity be seeking to extend the good influence and teachings of the SSPX throughout the rest of the Church as a catalyst for its restoration. To refuse the Holy Father our cooperation and support in such an important work would seem selfish.”

    In addition to his recent interview, Bp. Tissier signed the declaration of the 25th Anniversary of the Episcopal Consecrations along with Bps. Fellay and de Galaretta. This declaration does acknowledge and accept in the 11th paragraph the Society’s current strategy with Rome. Does Bp. Tissier seem to be the type to just go about contradicting his own public actions? I should think not. There certainly may have been some confusion around the Society in 2012, mostly sowed by the current resistors, but Bp. Tissier has shown since by his public actions and words that he does not support the same position of the resistance.

    As for the “second Archbishop Lefebvre” after 1988, pages 9-11 of this Regina Coeli issue adequately discuss this issue. http://sspx.org/sites/sspx/files/regina_coeli_report_special_edition_3_1.pdf In fact, this issue can refute several of the points brought up by “resistors”. On playing the “war of quotes” with some of the Archbishop’s statements, often taken out of context, and applying them exactly to today’s circumstances, read this link. http://sspx.org/en/how-interpret-archbishop-lefebvre

    The Society has not really toned down as of late, as evidenced from the several responses regarding Amoris Laetitia, which have been neatly arranged by Fr. Couture. http://sspx.ca/en/publications/newsletters/may-2016-district-superiors-letter
    I’m aware of how some are wishing that Bp. Fellay would have insisted for the Pope to simply throw away the entire document. I think Bp. Fellay was simply trying to convey to the Holy Father what he absolutely must do. While “throwing it all out” might certainly be prudent, a clarification and retraction of errors is what is absolutely required. Besides, the whole document is not all bad, just as not all of Vatican II is bad. Bp. Williamson in the ’90s did not seem to hold that we absolutely must throw all of Vatican II out, as evidenced by the pamphlet he helped to prepare as shown in this article. http://tradicat.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-is-sspx-prepared-to-accept-second.html
    Notice how many of the “resistors” today often wander into several of the positions Bp. Williamson then labeled as “moderate” and “extreme” sedevacantist.

    Well, I think I’ve discussed a good majority of your main points. Again, perhaps some of our other commenters can help fill in some of the gaps. May God bless and keep you, Steve!


  5. PetrusRomanus1

    There is nothing “excessive” in that post. It is a simple re-presentation of the Archbishop’s words. You’re anti-Resistance zeal/antenna blinds you to the Archbishop’s own straightforward remarks. As far as there being no change within the Society, their decision to discontinue the term Conciliar Church is a noted change. So is the softened editorial positions over at Angelus Press. Moreover, the Society has adopted Fr. Paul Aulagnier’s reasoning in accepting a deal with Rome (Fr. Aulagnier was removed from the Society in the early 2000s for saying “it is dangerous” to “not” be “normalized” with Rome. Nowadays, Fr. Schmidberger says the same thing!) I will look into this ‘mini’ debate, but much of what you say seems to be blind regurgitation of what those in power of the Society say today. You ignore what they said in years past, my friend. See here https://psalm129.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/what-conciliar-church/ and here https://psalm129.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/change-what-change/ and here https://psalm129.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/history-repeats-itself/



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