Twenty-Five Years Later, Thank God For The SSPX!

It was in June 1988, twenty-five years ago, that Archbishop Lefebvre decided enough is enough and, together with Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, consecrated the now famous four bishops destined to allow the Society to continue its work after his death.

Almost no day passes without yours truly gratefully thinking of the SSPX as the safe port of call for orthodox Catholics who desire to die believing in the same way as their ancestors did. The thought runs to them with almost daily frequency now, because it is now an almost daily occurrence that either the Pope himself – not ex cathedra, of course; purely out of ignorance, desire for popularity, misguided do-goodism and a robust dose of humble arrogance – or some other prelate tries to pickaxe the one or other aspect of Catholicism.

Without thinking much, if I reflect on the last few days we have Cardinal Dolan openly apostatising and Archbishop Mueller trying to rehabilitate Liberation Theology. All in just a few days; events that even during Paul VI’s pontificate would have caused huge uproar, but only scandalise a minority of conscientious and well-instructed Catholics – those who refuse to have Catholicism and themselves dumbed down to less than kindergarten level by our disgraceful clergy, from the Pope down – in these times of universal salvation and multi-truth dialogue.

The SSPX is at this point, for me and for many others, the true measure and safest litmus of what is proper Catholicism, and an important source of Catholic instructions. In times when not even the Pope can be trusted to be orthodox – though of course it is difficult to think he would even have the guts to try to give a dogmatic sanction to the many errors of his thinking – we must be extremely grateful that in the SSPX we have a prestigious, highly ethical, worldwide operating organisation able to be a natural beacon of sound Catholic thinking for all of us.

The time might come – not in our lifetime, I think; though you never know – when a Pope openly dares to plunge the Church into open conflict and to sabotage Catholicism at a dogmatic level, thus placing us in front of the supreme test. If such events were to happen in my lifetime, I would look at the SSPX first to know whether a Sede Vacante situation is now in effect. This is how much I trust them, this is how grateful I am that The Lord gave us this providential beacon in these times of dangerous seafaring.

Please join me in saying today’s rosary – or three eternal rests – for the late Archbishop Lefebvre, a great man of God.

And yes, you are supposed to count.


Posted on June 23, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, FSSPX, Traditional Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Perhaps, but for some reason there seems to be a fairly influential group within the SSPX that is virulently anti-Semitic. We all know about Williamson’s views but I was also reading the account of a young man who went to discern his vocation at an SSPX seminary in the US. He left his bag in his room, went to join in the community prayers, looked around and visited the library/bookstore where he saw several copies of ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ (a notorious and well known fraud and libel on the Jews), this was on offer to the devout visitors and students. He went back to his room, picked up his bag and drove home. That was enough to stop me ever considering a switch. If Bishop Fellay can’t deal with such dishonesty in the seminaries then I guess that there will be other young men making similarly short visits.

    • The SSPX is always the target of vast exaggeration and outright slander concerning this. The way Williamson himself is misrepresented is more than telling.

      I also do not base my evaluation of an order like the SSPX about random things read at random on the internet. There’s a lot of rubbish on the Internet.


  2. I’m afraid I don’t understand the consequences of all those who are part of the SSPX. Christ’s garment is further rent, is it not, because they have not been loyal to Rome? Yes, we can admire them from afar, but in the greatest matter they have been prideful, have they not?

    • They are extremely loyal to Rome, if by that you mean the Church. They merely have a higher loyalty (the one to Christ) and at some point one has to choose, as they had to.

      Also, you can’t admire them and consider them prideful. They are either prideful or worthy of admiration.

      To enjoy and admire Traditionalism – largely allowed because of them, without which the FSSP and the other would very probably not even exist – and say they are “prideful” is a tad too easy.


  3. I have wondered often, since the talks between the Vatican and the SSPX broke down – allegedly sabotaged by Pope Benedict himself – whether Benedict, having reached his decision on retirement, had some sort of prescience about the kind of pontiff his successor would be and took the action he did. It is significant that the SSPX has largely kept its counsel over the matter.
    There’s no doubt that had the negotiations succeeded the SSPX would, once more, have found itself in an untenable position vis Rome and its apparent direction. The split would have been more painful and most likely irrevocable. As things have turned out, there may be, God willing, another opportunity in the (far distant) future. It’s what I pray for and will offer prayers for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    • Yes, one must imagine the kind of situation that would have arisen if the election of Pope Bergoglio had seen the SSPX in full communion. Of course they would have spoken, and of course this would have led to further tensions.

      Perhaps it’s better as it is.


  4. I didn’t expect you to publish it! I too love the Latin Mass and the pre-Vat 2 Church (and I actually remember it) but don’t pretend that all in the SSPX garden is rosy. Williamson is demented and there are others in positions of responsibility in the SSPX who share his views. You express concerns about the eternal fate of others, I would worry’/pray about Williamson who is not a young man.

    • If Williamson is demented there’s nothing to worry about.

      Wiiliamson is not the SSPX.

      The SSPX garden is the best kept I know among Catholics. Of course it’s not perfect. Nothing human is.


  5. I am so with you on this! Thank God for Archbishop Lefebvre’s bold move, painful as it must have been for him. And I also thank God for the leadership of Bishop Fellay. He’s been a good steward. Indeed, where would the Church be without the SSPX, even out on the fringes as they are forced to be?

    • Without the SSPX we would be drowning in stupid guitar music, the Mass would even more of a mess than it is today, and there would be no worldwide stronghold of orthodoxy to recur to for those who are thirsty for sound Catholicism instead of “don’t kick the cat” homilies.


  6. A truth that cannot be spoken?

  7. Much venomous name-calling has been aimed at SSPX, specifically, the “prideful” thing. And what is it they are supposed to be prideful of? Too proud to stoop as low as VII has gone? Too proud to lower themselves to bow to heresy? Too proud to participate in questionable liturgies? Too proud to accept Protestantization of the the Mass and confession? If that’s pride, count me in! But, that’s NOT pride. That is true Catholicism.

    I sang in the Requiem Mass choir for Archbishop Lefebvre in St. Louis after he died. We all admire him and ask God that the Church will once again be as the holy man saw it. Thank you to ALL the Bishops he consecrated! And thank you, Mundabor, for this article.

    • And thank to you from the heart for your kind words!

      I do not understand the “I like what they do but they are wrong” thinking. If I think they are wrong in the greater thing (the disobedience to the Pope) I cannot approve them merely because of the lesser thing (they think in an orthodox way generally).

      If you think that it would have been an atrocious insult to Christ and the Church to let the Traditional Mass die (which most certainly had been the case, but for them, the other pockets of “resistance” being far less strong than they, and actually surviving only thanks to the SSPX existence), then you must conclude that it was their right to disobey and follow a higher loyalty.

      One cannot be on both sides at the same time.


  8. When I was ordained in the early eighties Archbishop Lefebvre and his group were ridiculed and dismissed as disobedient fanatics who couldn’t adapt to the times and were frozen in the past. In recent times I have come to see that what happened to the Archbishop was a tragedy and will be seen in the end as a form of injustice. So much of what people like Archbishop Lefebvre predicted has undeniably come to pass. Learning a little more about his life recently I could see how in truth he was man who really loved the Church and felt constrained to act the way he did because of the catastrophe that was engulfing her owing to the serious break with tradition. Yes, his act was disobedient, but it was a disobedience with a different kind of motivation than usual – it wasn’t the disobedience of heresy. There can be no doubt at this remove from V2 that malignant forces were at work to try and destroy the Roman Rite. Marcel Lefebvre saw that and sought to preserve the integrity of the Catholic Faith and I am certain that will stand to his credit eternally.

    • More power to you, Father.

      I see the Society as always and in all things faithful to Christ first.
      No Pope should ever have put them in the position of choosing between obedience to Christ and obedience to the Pope.
      They had to choose, and they chose wisely.

  9. If you look to the Society for the truth & obedience to Christ above all, then I don’t see how anyone can argue that their confessions are not valid. If they chose wisely – & I believe they did – then one needs to seriously consider their arguments for supplied jurisdiction. I wrestled with this for years as I became more & more traditional.

    The best artilcles I ever read – clear and concise and perfectly logical – ame from Chris Jackson of the Remant. See here:

    As Mr. Jackson points out, neither he nor the Remnant have a dog in this fight. The Remnant is supposedly banned from SSPX chapels.

    BTW – I am totally with you as the more Pope Francis & others say very disturbing things, the more the SSPX looks like a light shining in the darkness, proclaiming the Truth of Catholicism as passed on through the centuries. I am so glad for the SSPX!

    • Ah, I am with you there.

      I go to confession to Novus Ordo priests because I believe their sacraments are – obviously – valid and do not want to take the slippery slope of gradually throwing away the baby of the Church with the smelly bathwater of V II. For the same reason, I regularly inflict on myself a Novus Ordo Mass around where I live, that I can make penance and offer my anger to the Lord, but remain faithful to the Church even in the presence of the devastation I must witness. Which does not mean I consider it in order, though.

      If anyone were to ask me, I’d simply say that in the presence of a NO alternative providing one with a valid sacrament, I would prefer the NO priest. If the only NO priests around were such that I think they are kidding me, then I would go to the SSPX chapel to confess.

      I will read the article, but I confess having pretty good confessors in range (and being ready to cope with the less good ones) the problem has not presented itself to me in any urgent form.


  10. Okay, via Wikipedia, I’ve educated myself on the history of the SSPX. A critical juncture took place in May-June 1988 where dialogue between Rome and the SSPX was in process. If the SSPX could just hold off with the installation of four new bishops among their ranks perhaps there would not have been schism. Those who could not stomach the thought of schism remained in union and are prospering today, with VALID sacraments–the beautiful Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. But Archbishop LeFebvre, perhaps because of his age, grew anxious and it was Splitsville All the Way–willfull schism. The horror, the horror! Could he not have waited??? Christ established his Bride the Church, with Peter as the head. One simply cannot be disobedient to the Successor to Peter on such a grave matter. Is the papacy meaningless? Christ’s body is rent further.

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