Archbishop Mueller’s Attitude Towards The SSPX, From His Own Mouth
In case you are still lulling yourself in the easy illusion that the Holy Father might have chosen Mueller so that he paves the way for an agreement with the SSPX, you may want to read what Catholic Church Conservation has to say on the matter; or, better, what the man himself felt obliged to put on record not a long time ago.
The following are, verbatim, his words (emphases mine):
The SSPX must fully return to the ground of the Catholic Church and recognise the authority of the Pope, the decisions of the Second Vatican Council and recognize existing canon law. If they do, they also accept that the seminary of Zaitzkofen falls under the supervision of the Diocese of Regensburg. The seminary should be closed and the students should go to seminaries in their home countries – if they are suitable for this purpose.
Zaitzkofen is a seminary of the SSPX in the diocese of… Regensburg.
I have written a letter to the Vatican and asked for the legal status of the seminary of Zaitzkofen to be verified. Even the Constitution of the SSPX should be critically considered by canon lawyers.
The illegal Episcopal consecration cannot lead to a receipt of office. The bishop is a minister of unity. The four Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated bishops do not have the aptitude for this office.
The four bishops of the SSPX should all resign and in political and no longer comment on ecclesiastical policy issues. They should lead an exemplary life as a simple priest and chaplain as part of the reparation for the damage that the schism has caused.
This is the man the Holy Father has put at the head of the congregation in charge not only of defending Catholic truth, but to negotiate with the SSPX.
I rest my case. Paul VII, and no mistake.
Posted on July 3, 2012, in Bad Shepherds, Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged Archbishop Mueller, Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism, Pope Benedict XVI. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.
as you have tirelessly explained in the last weeks, we have to reconcile ourselves to the plain fact that the Pope wants a man like this at the top. Obviously this is Benedict’s vision for the future of the Church. Denying a dogma here and there, praising the Council as a great event (“großartige Veranstaltung”), declaring the SSPX in schism, “de-mythologizing” or outright denying the Real Presence, denigrating Mary, coddling heretics and their enablers, persecuting traditional Catholics, and sometimes throwing them a bone so that they conform to a third-way hermeneutic of the Council: Neither rupture nor continuity, but reform, that is, slow revolution. One might name it the “hermeneutics of deconstruction”.
In weeks like these, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais and his principled refusal to reconcile with the modernists in Rome seem very reasonable to me. Especially as he explicitly affirms that Benedict is Pope and denies sedevacantism. I’m fairly certain that there is no longer any disagreement among the four bishops regarding the issue of reconciliation. Bishop Fellay must have realized that some people close to the Pope (and possibly the Pope himself) have been playing with him all along, trying to split the SSPX in order to destroy her. This must end now. The mask is gone.
A last point: Some people within the SSPX have been deceived about the intentions of Rome. But no longer. Now we can see clearly. The Virgin has – despite all the insults directed towards her – worked hard in answer to millions of prayers, millions of Rosaries for the good of the Church. Reconciliation has been delayed so that the true face of the Roman authorities might first become apparent to all before entering into any agreement with them. Rome did not want to enter into an honest agreement. Therefore, the second-best solution has come to pass. The truth has been made plainly visible, first leaking out, then being confirmed spectacularly by the last few momentous appointments. Now, knowing the truth, the path forward for the SSPX seems to be clear. The temptation of immediate reconciliation has been thoroughly dispelled. For this we must be grateful.
What an excellent intervention, Catocon, to which there is so little to add. By the bye, your English is so good that one wonders what an audience your blog would have, if it were written in that language.
As to the matter, my impression is that TdM considers Rome something contaminating a priori, with which the SSPX must see itself “at war”. I consider this fundamentally wrong and deeply flawed. Of course the SSPX must talk with Rome and see whether a solution is possible. If it is, fine; if it isn’t, it is Benedict who will have to answer about it when he dies.
Like you, I do not feel I can exclude the Pope himself has not played a refined – but in the end, stupid – game of deception with the SSPX. But honestly, if I had been in Fellay’s shoes I would have participated to the game even had I know he might have such intentions: firstly to show him the SSPX is a bit stronger than these cheap tricks, and secondly because the possibility of Rome honestly wanting an adjustment should not be excluded a priori. They can do it now, of course.
If I were Fellay, I would not say “no” without any further talk. I would say “when you offer an agreement we can in conscience accept we will do it, and we are always ready to talk”. It is certainly not the likes of Mueller who will manage to pollute the SSPX.
Just posting to say that, Catocon, I think you have made a wonderful argument, one I certainly can find no faults with. Beautifully and concisely put. I think I will just post to say you have said anything I could want to, or really needs to be said, far better than I could.
Although, Mundabor, I wonder about just how a priori Bp. Tissier de Mallerais’s position is – while I abhor sede-vacantism, the Pope will always be the Pope, the successor of St Peter, from an outsider’s position, ‘Rome, ‘modernist Rome’ to quote +Tissier de Mallerais, by that I mean the heretics there are in the Church, has been incredibly damaging to the cause, for example, Summorum Pontificum has been obfuscated in many places (it’s practically impossible to find a Latin Mass where I live in Scotland, apart from one SSPX parish about a hundred miles away in Edinburgh, to whom I must get in contact), the text of the 1962 Missal has been meddled with and the dance between the Vatican and Econe, with this new, impossible, appointment, really shifts de Mallerais’ belief that ‘Rome’ (not the Church, but the rightly reviled heresy that has spotted and blighted so much of the Church) will suppress, will ‘contaminate’ the SSPX from a priori to a posteriori. Card. Mueller has said he will suppress the SSPX, and by inference defrock some of its seminarians ‘if they are suitable’, makes any of the talk of unity a nonsense. The SSPX would agree to its own abolition if it accepted this offer. Tissier de Mallerais has been proved quite right – Rome is not in itself contaminating or wicked, but the Church is blighted by heretics and the time for a reunification, implicitly accepting the heresies, is certainly not now.
I feel, after reading some SSPX pamphlets, and posts here and on Fish Eaters, that the Church is in a state similar to the height of the Arian heresy, where a huge part of the Church is in heresy, deeper, perhaps than then, and I feel that the Society has to keep the faith strong and unadulterated, if need be outside the main ‘Church’ until the heresy undoes itself or can be fought plainly. There are good men like Cardinal Burke and Mgr. Gilles Wach in the Church, and many good parishioners and priests, but so much that is, from my reading of Aquinas, the Catechisms of Trent and Pope Benedict, the Catholic Encyclopaedia, old books of catechesis and tradition, is heresy has been propagated and taught, I am very afraid. Pray, all of us, please let us pray.
Just my ignorant opinion, please correct me,
I have replied to Catocon in the message above.
In my eyes, the fact that the Vatican proved duplicitous is no vindication of his position. Fellay will not accept any tricks, either, so it is not that one is smarter than the other in that respect.
But Fellay gave it a try, Tissier seems to think Rome is a nuclear waste site.
Yes, I just wanted to tell Catocon I also agreed with him.
On the second point, I suppose you are right – I never meant to suggest that Bp. Bernard Fellay. who seemed to me a very wise and good prelate, was gullible at all. I will have to think about that a good deal more.
Thanks for replying.
I agree entirely. The talks have been necessary and it was not my intention to criticize the leadership of the SSPX. Any agreement that can be accepted in conscience must be accepted at once. This much is clear. The Church is still the Church. But is Tissier’s view of this issue really fundamentally different? I understand him as follows:
Tissier’s main point – maybe expressed without the necessary qualifications and distinctions as he is much more polemical than Aquinas (or Fellay) – in talking about “Modernist Rome” seems to be that there are in effect two “Romes”, one modernist and the other Catholic. There are, Tissier appears to believe, two churches, or rather one Church and one modernist imitation, but the Pope is head of both of them. Therefore he is no sedevacantist. But those currently reigning within this strange mixture are in his opinion firmly on the modernist side of things. Knowing this, he concludes that no agreement is possible with them as they, being enemies of the true faith, cannot be trusted to be good shepherds. To be under a modernist Pope (even if he remains the true Catholic Pope at the same time) is therefore unacceptable to him in principle.
Now, I don’t entirely agree with his reasoning (although, as I said, I am able to sympathize with it in weeks like these). But I have never seen or heard him saying that he believes Rome as a whole to be contaminating. Sometimes he seems to say something like it, but so did Archbishop Lefebvre on some occasions. But seen in context we know Lefebvre did not believe it, even as he came close to saying it in talking about modernist Rome. Tissier is no diplomat. Therefore, he would probably make a bad Superior. But the SSPX needs his strong affirmations of anti-modernism (as long as he steers clear of sedevacantism) even as the Superior has to tread somewhat more lightly in order to further his legitimate duty. Conflict between these two “wings” of the SSPX is, in my view, avoidable. There is, so to speak, continuity between Tissier and Fellay, even as there might be internal conflict (we don’t know).
Thank you for your comment on my English. (Yours is very good, too.) And this after having dropped out of English lessons at school. After recovering from the sheer boredom of having to learn the language I could start to enjoy it. Then I came across the Lord of the Rings. This sealed my fate… 😉
the question still remains why Tissier would not accept a recognition coming without string attached.
To make a comparison, the Church in 1970 or 1974 was certainly not better than she is today. Still, Archbishop Lefebvre did not throw away the recognition given to his order, and in fact wanted his order to have Rome’s recognition.
He didn’t think he was “at war” with Rome, and therefore no contact whatsoever with the Vatican was possible.
In my eyes, Tissier should have said “they may be a bunch of modernists, but if they show some sense at least by offering us the recognition I will not be the one to complain”. This is exactly what did not happened, with Tissier refusing Rome qua Rome.
Having said that, better one TdM than 100 Muellers.
he really should have said this. Instead he said, in effect, we will not deal with Modernist Rome. The difference is that he did not attach the conditional “if they show some sense…”.
Now, this may well be because Bishop Tissier believes Rome is in itself evil – which would entail at least closet sedevacantism. But he affirms steadily that Benedict is Pope and that he is the Pope of the true Church. Also, (if I recall correctly) he has remained mostly silent until fairly late in the negotiations (speaking publicly against reconciliation only after his internal criticisms had already been leaked). All this suggests to me a possible alternative interpretation of his words and actions, namely, that he came to the conclusion that the modernists in Rome had no interest in offering the SSPX any kind of “no strings attached” offer, instead trying to trap the SSPX. Which is, of course, exactly what happened, as far as we know.
Furthermore, he appears to believe (1) that he is at war with Modernist Rome (the part of Rome infected by modernism) and (2) that these modernists are still too firmly entrenched in Rome for any reconciliation to be effective. He said, I believe, that it will be another thirty years before the time will come. This is a hard statement, and probably overly pessimistic. But giving a hypothetical time frame for a reconciliation, he implicitly shows himself not to be against it *on principle* but just in the current circumstances that will, according to his prudential judgment, persist for a few more decades. He is not at war with “Rome” per se, but with “Modernist Rome” which is not the whole Rome even if it includes the vast majority of prelates and maybe even the Pope himself (in his view).
This view of Tissier’s statements appears to me at least possible if not probable. It does not contradict the facts known to me (although I may forget something). Given that at least his “no” to the current proposal (even if his reasoning is to be regarded as flawed) has been conclusively justified by the recent developments in the matter, I believe we should consider this more positive evaluation before we conclude that he is, in fact, a closet sedevacantist viewing “Rome” as a whole as the enemy. Reading Archbishop Lefebvre one finds equally strange statements about a New Church and Modernist Rome. As you point out, he always balanced those statements with his acts that continuously showed his attachment to Eternal Rome. That is entirely correct, of course. But why is it impossible to read Tissier’s statements in the same light? Not being in the position to decide the matter, he spoke his thoughts internally, then, after they had already been leaked, publicly. But he never suggested a split in case Fellay had pulled off a successful reconciliation. (Unlike some of his supporters on the internet, of course…)
Sorry if this is bit too long. I will try to keep my comments shorter again in the future.
he said that he is at war with Rome (verbatim) and cannot even accept a truth (in so many words).
It is true he only expressed his public reservations publicly after the letter had been leaked; but he had expressed the same concepts in the very letter that was leaked.I do not doubt he would have obeyed in the end if Fellay had chosen reconciliation, but I am sure he would have done it obtorto collo.
Also please notice he did not say he thought such an agreement would not be possible, but would have welcomed one. He simply said he wanted no agreement. As I see it, the SSPX should be open even to talks with Mueller. If Mueller is in bad faith, then the talks will fail; but it shouldn’t be said the failure is their fault…
Kreuz.net has reported bishop Tissier de Mallerais has openly accused Mueller of heresy. Whilst the people at kreuz.net are not really my favourites, they seem to have good ears within the SSPX. I can’t wait to read what he said…
of course he said he is at war with “Rome”. He did not qualify this statement in any way. This is problematic. But if he really believed Rome to be wholly inimical to Catholicism, then why does he accept Benedict as Pope, as he explicitly says? (Or is he lying?) And why his words about a possible reconciliation in thirty years, that is, after the current generation of modernists has been thoroughly dealt with biologically? No, Tissier seems to call for war against the modernists in Rome who ocupy, in his view, all the important positions in the curia. Of course, he wants no agreement with the current leadership in the Church because nearly all of it is, according to him, contaminated by modernism. For him no acceptable agreement is possible right now, because a Pope espousing modernist ideas could not possibly accept true freedom for Tradition, and even if he said so, he would swiftly act contrary to his words. As long as the Pope does not start to fight against this disease, no reconciliation is possible. His war with Rome is a war against the modernist accidents, not against the Catholic substance that is still there but darkened by admixture of modernism.
If we suppose Tissier to be arguing against any reconciliation with Rome per se, he would be at least a closet sedevancatist. This he explicitly denies. Therefore he is either a liar (about his sedevacantism) and a heretic (because he would be denying the indefectibility of the Church) and a schismatic (for obvious reasons of having fallen away from the Church) – in which case he would be worse than Müller, who is at least no schismatic – or he intended to say something else, but omitted necessary qualifications of what he means by “Rome”. The latter view appears to me very reasonable, as many SSPXers, not excluding the late Archbishop, sometimes have a certain tendency to oversimplify matters, especially when preaching against accommodation to modernist tendencies in the Church.
“But if he really believed Rome to be wholly inimical to Catholicism, then why does he accept Benedict as Pope, as he explicitly says?”
This is the entire question why he is wrong.
I do not think he is lying, but I think he is thinking in a Protestant way is he thinks Rome is radioactive. He might not see a contradiction, but we both do.
With this, I do not want to say he is a sedevacantist. Merely, that he talks like one when he is angry. To me, this disqualifies him as a person able to lead the SSPX.
we can certainly agree that Tissier should not lead the SSPX. Bishop Fellay is exactly the right man for this job, for the very reason you have given.
At the same time I have to disagree that Tissier thinks like a Protestant. Even an angry Tissier is far better than this. If he took care to introduce some much needed distinctions into his argument concerning war with Rome – distinctions any non-sedevacantist (including himself) could not possibly disagree with – he would be far better still without giving up an inch of his hardline anti-modernism.
I do not doubt his love for the Church, and for Catholicism.
I question his way of expressing it. He must consider a suffering Catholic can be easily confused if prestigious traditional Catholics like him give the wrogn impression.
Having said that, if I could I’d make him Pope tomorrow, and a huge improvement he would be.