The New Pope And The SSPX

Another V II Pope is gone. The SSPX is stronger than ever.

Another V II Pope is gone. The SSPX is stronger than ever.

And so the SSPX should be, one is informed, scared of the new Pope crushing them, and should have accepted the poisoned bread offered to them by a, erm, rather scheming Pope.

Should they? Really? I am not persuaded at all. Let us see why.

Broadly speaking, the new Pope can only be one of three:

1) a modernist like Schoenborn.

2) a so-so, V-II nuChurch Pope like, well, all of them since Pope Roncalli. 

3) A traditionalist Pope.

If 1) happens, you’ll see an explosion of sedevacantism, and as a result of the prestige and position of the SSPX who, whilst not being sedevacantists, are in clear opposition to the antics of nuChurch. Whatever this new Pope may order to them, the Society will certainly apply the blessed “first rule of the Italian army”: gli ordini sbagliati non si eseguono, “wrong orders are not carried out”.

I can, in fact, not imagine anything more promising for the growth of the Society than an utterly disgraceful Pope. Please reflect the likes of the FSSP would all be silenced in no time, and told they are lucky if they can keep the Tridentine Mass, and the Society would soon remain, to all intents and purposes, the only traditionalist shop in town.  

The SSPX would then be seen as the last and only bastion of orthodoxy, and rightly so. They have the people, they have the money, they have the faith and the determination. Depend on that, they won’t take stupid orders by any stupid Schoenborn, Pope or no Pope. Amen.  

2) So-so Popes can bark – with great effort – but they can’t bite. Therefore, your typical V II Pope would engage in endless “dialogue” without ever coming to any conclusion, which is why they engage in “dialogue” in the first place (besides trying to split the Society). There would be a gesture here and its contrary there, a Bux here and a Mueller there (well, not really; the man will hopefully be gone for good soon); but in the end, nothing would happen.

“You must accept V II”, the Vatican would say. “You must wake up and repent”, the SSPX would answer. Not the stuff of agreements, and it is probably good so as long as this situation persists.

3) If we are blessed by a traditionalist Pope (an event we as Catholics have by far not deserved), then the problem would solve itself by itself. We’d soon have the SSPX in full communion and – in time – Fellay as Cardinal ( I have joked about that in another post, but in this constellation I can’t see any other outcome).  Case 3) is not a problem, but the end of all problems, and is therefore not worth discussing much. 

What can, then, an hypothetical new and angry Pope do against the Society? A fat nothing, is the answer. The Society exists because the Papacy is in crisis. They will not do the Pope’s bidding when the papacy is even more in crisis than it has been in the times of Paul VI.


On the contrary, it seems to me that  the decision of the Pope to go away is in fact a vindication of the SSPX policy. He will soon be gone, and the SSPX is still there. With Benedict, Mueller will soon go (not immediately, probably; the successor will allow him a face-saving time before he picks his own man). If there had been a (bad) agreement, how long had it lasted?  Months? If the new pope is bad, than the SSPX was even more right in not wanting lazy compromises, and insisting on guarantees of freedom of criticism beside operational autonomy. 

If you are smart, you talk with the Vatican but you don’t trust your own existence to their mercy. Bishop Fellay is very smart, and every agreement would have to be approved by the majority of the SSPX priests, so expect no surprises from there.

So: Pope Benedict will soon be gone. Archbishop Mueller will follow him soon after. The SSPX is still there, as solid as a rock, growing like a mushroom colony, and not scared of anything but lazy compromises.

I wonder who won? 


Posted on February 13, 2013, in Catholicism, FSSPX and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I have already addressed this point elsewhere, by raising the question as to where will the anti-SSPX Trads stand if there is a +++Schonborn type elected to the Papacy, with all the ramifications that would follow-on from such an event. Will they express unadulterated obeisance to what would be unquestionably ‘Nu Church’? One example, +++Murhpy-O’Connor, UK Daily Telegraph, unquestionably a ‘Nu Church’ type, who opined, upon the election of BXVI, “our man was not elected”.

    You will recall that Msgr. Lefebvre’s original seminary was erected with the agreement of the local ordinary. Upon the venture being successful, a new condition arose in relation to the NOM. +Fellay has stated that he had an agreement, when at the last moment a new set of conditions were applied. De ja vu. +Fellay has also stated that BXVI was pressured into the current situation vis a vis SSPX and you may recall that the German Government threatened to break diplomatic relations with the Vatican if the SSPX deal went through.

    BXVI has not been “scheming” enough to overcome the quislings within.

    Mea Culpa for the length.

  2. well, what a bad pope can possibly do, is re-institute the excommunications within the SSPX, and scare a bunch of young promising men looking to enter the seminary, into fleeing to the abomination that is the FSSP….like im sure probably happened after the initial ex-communications 25 years ago.

    also, I know Williamson is getting old, and maybe talks a bit out of turn, but I honestly don’t see how the current split within the SSPX has really helped to strengthen it. its “all hands on deck” time as far as the Catholic crises is concerned and I don’t think Fellay should be getting rid of good men like he did. he should put any dialogue with V2 on hold, especially right now as it will be in flux for a few more months, and concentrate on reconciliation within his own order.

    • Honestly I think it has doen neither the one nor the other, as Williamson’s followers seem to be far less than originally thought.
      I am also persuaded Fellay did nto take the decision lightly, and honestly Williamson is a bit of a maverick, and an undisciplined one at that.


  3. As a roman catholic, I have always given FSSPX some positive thoughts and held an opinion that Trindentine Mass ia s treasure for the Church. But as I read your post here, so disdainful for catholic popes and catholic Church, looking for the good for your fraternity only and not for the Church (this excerpt about Schonborn, that it is even better for the Church to have a modernist pope, as more people will depart to FSSPX), this strange and disgraceful words that some kind of pope will ‘bark, but not bite’ and so on. And I do not understand this remark that pope goes and fraternity stays. No, no: it is that the roman catholic church stays and shall stay forever, it is not about the particular pope. Christ did not promise us that Benedict XVI will be forever with us but the Church shall last forever. I hoped – and still hope, in fact, that we (roman catholics and members of FSSPX) can make an agreement and belong to one Church – but I see, you don’t want it. It’s sad.

    • You are wrong in so many ways that I will take the time to explain them to you.

      If you can’t stomach a blog with expressions like “bark, but not bite” you are in the wrong blog, period. Why they should be disgraceful, will remain your mystery.

      As to the Church, the Church stays forever, but the V II Popes go. Also not difficult to understand, nor anything new, or scandalous.

      That I do not want an agreement is something you have dreamed. I certainly do not want a bad agreement, but in this I am sure I am not alone.

      The SSPX is not “my fraternity”. I am a layman who never attends at their masses.

      I suggest you click somewhere else. Don’t bother answering.


  4. For the record, Williamson was always a maverick, and I was more than surprised when Archbishop Lefebvre chose to consecrate him as one of the four.

    Archbishop Lefebvre was an incredible man. He was calm, generally reserved and unassuming. One of the most pleasant human beings I have ever met. I cannot tell you how nervous I was on retreat in Aosta being summoned to his quarters for our first private discussion.

    His virtues (kindness and thinking well of others) were also his weaknesses. He was not always a good judge of character, and he would react slowly to serious problems with certain seminarians and priests.

    His decency and kindness were his downfall, for example, regarding numerous “infiltrators”, for lack of a better term. Had he listened to the recommendations of a very wise former Trappist monk, who was at the seminary and who served as my spiritual director, the sedevacantist “nine” would have been dismissed from the seminary long before they were ordained. It was obvious to all of us that they were a serious problem, even as seminarians. They used the kindly bishop to obtain ordination, then slapped him in the face and left. His kindness cost him in that instance.

    With all due respect to Bishop Williamson, whom I knew in the seminary prior to his ordination (not well, but well enough to comment), his demeanor and attitudes were very similar to the “nine”. The difference was that he stopped short of sedevacatism, and he had tremendous respect for Lefebvre. His other attitudes appeared to me to be extreme. I think that my impression of him has stood the test of time.

    Forgive the length!

  5. agnieszka niezgoda:

    those in ROME have made the good of the CHURCH a secondary thought…if not a total afterthought…not the SSPX. we are obligated as Catholics to expose wrong….and that is exactly why the SSPX was formed in the first place. the good of the SSPX IS the good of the Church. the author is not saying he wants a bad pope…..he is saying that if we don’t have a TRUE pope, than whats the point of having another guy who is neither here nor there?? and I personally totally agree. we don’t need a man in office who will continue to look past the wrong that is going on. who will that help?? who will it save?? we need a man who will do his all to CRUSH the wrong and bring those who aren’t totally lost back to the Faith.

    we all know my friend that our Church will never fail….BUT HOW MANY SOULS WILL BE LOST IN THE INTERIM before Christ returns?? our Church, while it will never fail, is currently a disaster. just THINK about all of the present cardinals currently in charge…..would men like this have even been thought of 75 years ago to hold these posts?

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