Vatican-SSPX: Ping & Pong

Peter Paul Rubens: “Allegory on the blessings of peace”

In another round of the endless ping-pong game between the SSPX and the Vatican, today we were treated with a declaration of the SSPX – for internal use, and public knowledge – and with the – semel in anno – rather smart answer of the Vatican.

Allow me to copy the two texts in their entirety with my short(ish) emphases and comments about what I think the SSPX want to convey to the Vatican, and vice versa. In the next days, I will probably expand a bit more for those already not bored to death already.


Declaration of the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X sent to the Holy See

As announced in the press communiqué of the Society of St. Pius X’s General House on July 14, 2012, the members of the General Chapter sent a common statement to Rome. It has been published today.
During the interview published at DICI on July 16, Bishop Bernard Fellay stated that this document was “the occasion to specify the (SSPX’s) road map insisting upon the conservation of the Society’s identity, the only efficacious means to help the Church to restore Christendom”. “For,” he said, “doctrinal mutism is not the answer to this “silent apostasy”, which even John Paul II denounced already
 in 2003.” [ You may prefer to shut up, but we won’t].

At the conclusion of the General Chapter of the Society of St. Pius X, gathered together at the tomb of its venerated founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and united with its Superior General, the participants, bishops, superiors, and most senior members of the Society elevate to Heaven our heartfelt thanksgiving, grateful for the 42 years of marvelous Divine protection over our work, amidst a Church in crisis and a world which distances itself farther from God and His law with each passing day.

We wish to express our gratitude to each and every member of our Society: priests, brothers, sisters, third order members; to the religious communities close to us and also to our dear faithful, for their constant dedication and for their fervent prayers on the occasion of this Chapter, marked by frank exchanges of views and by a very fruitful common work. Every sacrifice and pain accepted with generosity has contributed to overcome the difficulties which the Society has encountered in recent times. We have recovered our profound unity in its essential mission: to preserve and defend the Catholic Faith, to form good priests, and to strive towards the restoration of Christendom. [Christendom has been so savaged by your “doctrinal mutism” and embracing the world, that it now needs a restoration] We have determined and approved the necessary conditions for an eventual canonical normalization. [We are not against normalisation per se. But we won’t allow the Vatican to use it to envelop us in a mortal embrace, or to make us accept the errors of V II]. We have decided that, in that case, an extraordinary Chapter with deliberative vote will be convened beforehand. [You will not succeed in dividing us, and Bishop Fellay will never act of his own initiative against the cadres of the SSPX].  

We must never forget that the sanctification of the souls always starts within ourselves. It is the fruit of a faith which becomes vivifying and operating by the work of charity, according to the words of St. Paul: “For we can do nothing against the truth: but for the truth” (cf. II Cor., XIII, 8), and “as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it… that it should be holy and without blemish” (cf. Eph. V, 25 s.).

The Chapter believes that the paramount duty of the Society, in the service which it intends to offer to the Church, is to continue, with God’s help, to profess the Catholic Faith in all its purity and integrity [ because you clearly don’t do it, with a determination matching the intensity of the constant attacks to which this very Faith is subjected nowadays [if you think you can scare us with threat of further excommunications or declaration of schism, forget it now].

For this reason it seems opportune that we reaffirm our faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the unique Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation nor possibility to find the means leading to salvation [we reaffirm what you don’t have the nerve to say anymore, and reject your sugary doublespeak] ; our faith in its monarchical constitution, desired by Our Lord himself, by which the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth; our faith in the universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of both the natural and the supernatural orders, to Whom every man and every society must submit.

The Society continues to uphold the declarations and the teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church [ because no Pope can change the Truth] in regard to all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors [ the novelties of V II are tainted with errors…] , and also in regard to the reforms issued from it [and what came later was even worse]. We find our sure guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its teaching authority, transmits the revealed Deposit of Faith in perfect harmony with the truths that the entire Church has professed, always and everywhere.[where there is rupture, there can’t be infallible Magisterium]

The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls [same concept as above], while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities [ We will wait. And wait. And wait. But it’s not us who will have to change their minds about the novelties tainted with errors of V II].

We wish to unite ourselves to the others (sic) Christians persecuted [Mundabor: “Persecuted”? Come on!] in different countries of the world who are now suffering for the Catholic Faith, some even to the extent of martyrdom. Their blood, shed in union with the Victim of our altars, is the pledge for a true renewal of the Church in capite et membris, according to the old saying sanguis martyrum semen christianorum.

Finally, we turn our eyes to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is also jealous of the privileges of her Divine Son, jealous of His glory, of His Kingdom on earth as in Heaven. How often has she intervened for the defense, even the armed defense, of Christendom against the enemies of the Kingdom of Our Lord! We entreat her to intervene today to chase the enemies out from inside the Church who are trying to destroy it more radically than its enemies from outside. May she deign to keep in the integrity of the Faith, in the love of the Church, in devotion to the Successor of Peter, all the members of the Society of St. Pius X and all the priests and faithful who labor alongside the Society, in order that she may both keep us from schism and preserve us from heresy.

“May St. Michael the Archangel inspire us with his zeal for the glory of God and with his strength to fight the devil.

“May St. Pius X share with us a part of his wisdom, of his learning, of his sanctity, to discern the true from the false and the good from the evil in these times of confusion and lies.” (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre; Albano, October 19, 1983).

Given at Ecône, on the 14th of July of the Year of the Lord 2012.


Communiqué of the Holy See Press Office

The recently concluded General Chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X has addressed a Declaration regarding the possibility of a canonical normalization in the relationship of the Fraternity and the Holy See. [ We are still talking about a normalisation] While it has been made public, the Declaration remains primarily an internal document for study and discussion among the members of the Fraternity. [This is for internal use. This is not the document we are waiting for].

 The Holy See has taken note of this Declaration [we didn’t like it, but we got it: there will be no summer sale of the SSPX mainstays] , but awaits the forthcoming official Communication of the Priestly Fraternity [ we wait for something more concrete, the “road map” specifying exactly how the SSPX thinks to continue the discussions and how they envisage a canonical structure] as their dialogue with the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” continues [You will talk with Di Noia, not Mueller].
Waiting for the next “ping” now, probably the famous “road map”, which might not be made public.
O how much I would like to read the “preambolo” and the minutes of the discussions…..

Posted on July 19, 2012, in Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. And so it continues. This is reminding me of the flurry of letters during the Great Western Schism – I’m not saying the Church is in open schism yet, but I hope the same divine grace that allowed Saint Catherine of Siena to reconcile the warring ‘Papacies’ to the Holy Church will inspire Bishop Fellay and the Society – in these two letters, they present a far more cohesive argument than the Vatican’s havering, Bp. Fellay and the Society have taken a high-minded, deeply pious (I notice no reference to Our Blessed Lady, nor to the Saints in the Vatican’s rather curt document) humble but authoritative tone and are coming out of this very well indeed.

    • duns,
      I personally would not draw any conclusion from the absence of the Blessed Virgin in a short communique’.

      I would, rather, draw more drastic conclusions when a person who is unable to tell us what is wrong with a simple concept like Mary Ever-Virgin is made the head guardian (after the Pope) of Catholic faith.


  2. lionelandrades

    Thursday, July 19, 2012
    The Society of St.Pius X (SSPX) has accepted Vatican Council II in accord with the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus (1) in harmony with Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II. They have endorsed Vatican Council II according to Sacred Tradition. They can also cite reference texts from Vatican Council II to support their doctrinal position.

    They have rejected, as in the past, the liberal version of Vatican Council (2) whose adherents cannot cite any texts to support their interpretation which is a break, a rupture with tradition and magisterial documents.

    The SSPX is finally in a position to point out to their adversaries that there can be only one interpretation of the Council which can be supported by tradition.In this one interpretation AG 7 supports the dogma on exclusive salvation and LG 16 and LG 8 etc are not known exceptions to the dogma.

    The SSPX has stated clearly that they have ‘ faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the only Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation and no possibility of finding the means that lead to it’.

    There is no salvation outside the Church (Cantate Domino, Council of Florence 1441, Vatican Council II (AG 7) etc) and that outside the Church there is even ‘no possibility of finding the means that lead to it’ i.e those saved in invincible ignorance , a good conscience etc are accepted as possibilities known only to God and not possibilities which contradict the dogma on salvation,since these possibilities are not explicit for us. They are unknown to us humans.

    As for the liberal interpretation of Vatican Council II which is a rupture from the past the SSPX rejects ‘all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council that remain tainted with errors’ e.g theology of religions etc which are opposed by Vatican Council II (AG 7).

    They accept the Council and ‘the Society can only continue to abide by the statements and teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church;’ which is in agreement with the Council and in accord with Tradition. It carries the hermeneutic of continuity. The SSPX ‘ finds its guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its act of teaching, transmits the revealed deposit in perfect harmony with all that the whole Church has always believed, in every place’ and which is in agreement with Vatican Council II.–Lionel Andrades


    This is why its seems to us opportune to reaffirm our faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the only Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation and no possibility of finding the means that lead to it; in its monarchical constitution, willed by Our Lord, which means that the supreme power of governance over the whole Church belongs to the pope alone, the Vicar of Christ on earth; in the universal kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of the natural and supernatural order, to whom every human being and all society must submit.

    As for all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council that remain tainted with errors, and as for the reforms that have resulted from them, the Society can only continue to abide by the statements and teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church; it finds its guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its act of teaching, transmits the revealed deposit in perfect harmony with all that the whole Church has always believed, in every place.
    -Rome-SSPX: Declaration of the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X sent to the Holy See
    As announced in the press communiqué of the Society of St. Pius X’s General House on July 14, 2012, the members of the General Chapter sent a common statement to Rome. It has been published today.

  3. Mundabor, no, that was not what I intended to do! Sorry – I just meant Fellay’s communique seemed far more pious and far more Catholic, in invoking the aid of our Blessed Lady, not that the Vatican did not acknowledge her.

    • Yes Duns,
      what I mean to say is that in my eyes a press release doesn’t need to be pious. I can imagine Pope Pius XII when he was a diplomatician sending thousands of short notes of the sort, without feeling the need to go out of the common diplomatic language.

      What I meant, though, was that I am far more worried when the Pope puts people like Mueller at the head of the CDF, than when they send a press release without mentioning the Blessed Virgin.

      Feel free to disagree, but the way I would wish to see the Vatican is having good diplomatic sense, and orthodoxy above suspicion. It seems to me they have neither. I for myself will be happy to see thousands of press releases without mention of the Blessed Virgin, if at the head of the CDF there is someone who believes in her Perpetual Virginity without stupid quibbling and deconstruction of a miracle for the sake of his skeptical audience.


    • Lionandrades, I do not publish posts which require, in the reading and answering, a disproportionate amount of time. If you want to start discussions about such matters, you may want to start your own blog.

      As to the matter, your assertion that the SSPX refutes the baptims of desire is wrong, and you only need to read what Archbishop Lefebvre has written on the matter to make sure of that. You reached a wrong conclusion from what they have written, and have proceeded to reason that they are wrong.


  4. Game, set and match to Mundabor – you’re quite right. Very well put, and thanks for replying!

    • Thanks to you for your attentive reading and your kind words, Duns!

      I wish I had been, at your age, as interested in Catholicism as you are!


  5. lionelandrades

    Let me repeat it: the SSPX accepts the baptism of desire in principle. But does not claim that it is explicit and so an exception to the dogma.
    Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Fellay have accepted the possibility of a non Catholic being saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire but they have not stated that these cases are explicit or are an exception to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    Hence the communique say there is no ‘… possibility to find the means leading to salvation’ outside the Church.

    They are not only affirming the dogma but saying that defacto, explicitly there are no known exceptions.

    • “but they have not stated that these cases are explicit or are an exception to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus”.

      But if you ask me they aren’t, lionelandrades. The invincible ignorance has been formulated by Pius IX, who to my knowledge does not say it is an “exception” to the principle; rather, it is a way to understand how the principle work, though it would be more than foolish to count on this way to obtain salvation.

      What decides of salvation or damnation is the last moment before death. He who is chosen (I express myself now in non-theological terms; other will express it better) by Christ as being part of his Church before he dies (say; because he was in invincible ignorance) becomes in that moment part of the Church; it must be so, because to be with Christ is to be part of the Church, there can be no other way, nor can there be a way of being with Christ and being separated from the Church. This is, if you ask me, why the council of Florence says that no one can be saved, who is not joined to the Catholic church before the end of his life; “is joined”, not “decides consciously to convert”. I’d love to see who wants to forbid Jesus to allow someone to join His Church because he hasn’t done so consciously, and I’m sure you know Pius IX was perfectly aware of what was taught from the council of Florence, which also, to my knowledge, does not make ways for “exceptions”.

      You can see other parallels to that: the one who is killed as an (involuntary) martyr because of Christ (say: a Muslim terrorist kills him because he **thinks** he is a Christian, but he is an atheist blasphemer) goes straight to Paradise even if he has never converted. It is not he who decides, it is Jesus. When jesus decides (in the last moment of his life, that is: before his death) that the chap belongs to him, said chap has absolutely nothing to say on the matter…

      This is, at least, the understanding I always had of the matter, and as you can see it is perfectly compatible with the council of Florence, Pius IX and Lefebvre. If you have doubts on this – and I might be wrong – the best thing to do would be in my eyes to address the SSPX on this.

      I do not doubt others will be able to express the matter in a better way, though I doubt the basic concept will be much changed. Still, the way I learnt this has always allowed me to see the reason in what Catholic teaching, Pius IX and Lefebvre all say on the matter, and I have therefore never felt the need to deepen the matter…


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