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The SSPX is apparently about to go into schism over Bishop Fellay’s plans to return ‘within the walls’; we need him back and should pray that his opponents fail

The other SSPX bishops think this Pope ‘subjects the Church to the modern world’: in other words, they’re barking

By on Monday, 14 May 2012

Bishop Bernard Fellay (CNS photo)

Bishop Bernard Fellay (CNS photo)

What exactly is going on in the SSPX? On Wednesday last week, a “communiqué” was issued by the SSPX “General House,” which I suppose means its headquarters, condemning the circulation on the internet, two days before, of an exchange of private letters between the Superior General of the Society of St Pius X and the three other SSPX bishops. “This behaviour is reprehensible”, thundered the statement; “The person who breached the confidentiality of this internal correspondence committed a serious sin”.

This means, I assume, that the letters as circulated were authentic; they have been roughly translated (I suppose they were in French), and then tidied up on a site called The Sensible Bond, whose text I will quote here. There has been a very fundamental disagreement between the four bishops of the SSPX over the possibility of an agreement with the Holy See, involving the setting up of the SSPX as a personal prelature, in other words as a semi-independent jurisdiction responsible only to the Pope. On the one side of the divide are Bishops Tissier de Mallerais, de Galarreta and Williamson, and on the other the Superior General of the Society, Bishop Fellay, and his two assistants Fr Pfluger and Fr Nély.

The three dissident bishops seem to me to be not only talking utter rubbish but to be actually barking, positively up the wall (Vatican II, they say, represents “a total perversion of the mind, a new philosophy founded on subjectivism. Benedict XVI is no better than John Paul II in this regard… he puts human subjective fantasy in the place of God’s objective reality and subjects the Church to the modern world”; you see what I mean); Bishop Fellay’s response to this, on the other hand, was (and I never thought I would find myself saying this) measured and sensible as well as being, as one would have expected, absolutely faithful to the Catholic tradition.

I really hope, if there is to be a schism within the SSPX (as looks on the basis of these letters more likely than not) that the overwhelming majority of SSPX adherents will follow Bishop Fellay back over the Tiber; there is, and he clearly understands this, still a battle going on inside the Catholic Church between the Magisterium and the “spirit of Vatican II” secularisers; and we need everyone we can get by the Pope’s side in this great struggle for the renewal of the Catholic tradition and the cleaning up of the Catholic Church. A personal prelature doesn’t need more than one bishop; and the disappearance from the scene of Bishop Williamson would be an unlooked for bonus.

Bishop Fellay’s declaration is not merely sensible, it is positively inspiring, and I therefore quote it at length; this is a bishop whose leadership is needed within the mainstream of the Church. He begins by criticising his fellow SSPX bishops’ analysis for two faults: “lack of a supernatural view and a lack of realism”. Then he goes on, very strikingly as follows:

“Do you still believe that the Church is the Church and that the Pope is Pope? Can Christ still speak through him? If he expresses a legitimate desire or decision, should we not obey, and will not God help us?

“Your all too human and fatalistic attitude implies that we should not count on God’s help, his grace or the Holy Spirit. If Providence guides men’s actions, has it not been guiding the movement back to Tradition? It makes no sense to think God will let us fall now, especially since we only want to do his will and please him.

“Likewise you lack realism, just as the liberals make the Council a superdogma, you are making the Council a superheresy. Archbishop Lefebvre made distinctions about liberal Catholics, and if you do not make them, your caricature of reality could lead to a true schism.

“You blame all the current evils on the authorities even though they are trying to extricate the Church from them (eg the condemnation of the hermeneutic of continuity) [note: I think Bishop Fellay means the hermeneutic of discontinuity] and are thus not all obstinate in heresy. That is clearly false. Hence when it comes to the crucial question of making an accord, we do not come to the same conclusion as you.”

He continues by saying that because of the present Pope’s words and actions a real change is taking place. “Young priests and bishops are supporting us… Now, a combat within the walls is possible, though very difficult.”

Archbishop Lefebvre, he says, “would have accepted what is proposed; we must not lose his sense of the Church”. And then he comes to the central point about the situation in which we all find ourselves: “Church history shows that we only recover gradually from heresies and crises, so it is not realistic to wait until everything is sorted out. If we refuse to work in this field, we fall foul of the parable of the wheat and the cockle in which Our Lord warns us that there would always be internal conflict.” In other words, separating yourself off within a little private world in which everything is conducted precisely to your taste simply isn’t the Catholic way.

These are, it seems to me, wise and courageous words, and the vision which inspired them deserves to succeed. Whether or it does, we will have to wait and see; there are those working within the SSPX against its success. It is clear from this correspondence that, as Bishop Fellay writes to them, the other bishops “have all worked to undermine [him]”. For all our sakes, I hope they fail; and I believe we should pray that they do.

Bishop Fellay is, it seems to me on this evidence, a courageous and inspirational leader; and we could do with him back “within the walls”. This is a crucial time: we are beginning to make, under the Pope’s guidance, real progress. In this country, soon, I hope and pray, Archbishop Mennini will be recommending (when all is as it should be in the Congregation of Bishops) a clutch of new and orthodox bishops to stand by the side of Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury; perhaps Bishop Fellay, as Superior of the new Prelature of the SSPX, will make an official visit to the Shrine Church of Ss Peter and Paul and St Philomena in New Brighton, Wirral. Stirring times, if all goes well. I live in hope; please God, let nothing go wrong.

  • Benedict Carter

    Thanks for the greeting. +Fellay wouldn’t fall for a trap I think. The Pope’s intention is a pure one I’m sure. 

  • NO more NO!

    “Catholics” who deny that there are deliberate attempts taking place  to destroy the Church are calling Our Lady a liar – The BVM has warned us about this for 400 years – She specifically warned us of diabolical attacks against the Catholic Church in the C20th.

    Pope Leo XIII experienced a locution of a conversation between Our Lord and Satan on October 13th 1884 – Satan asked Our Lord for increased power over souls that would serve him in so that he could try to destroy Our Lord’s Church.  Christ told him he would not manage to detroy the Church – but permitted him the power over those who would agree to serve him, and gave him the C20th century to try to accomplish it.  

    From the Prophecies for the
    20th Century given by the Blessed Virgin Mary  to Mother Mariana – during the
    15th and 16th Centuries!  The Appartiions are groupedly referred to under the
    title of “Our Lady of Good Success”  Everything is in these prophecies
    The diabolical attempt to change the Sacrament of Marriage, the abuses of the Clergy (and others) – all prophecised by Our Lady 400 years ago – Mother Mariana’s body is incorrupt. 

    In the 20th Century……..
    passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because Satan will reign
    through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to insure
    general corruption. Unhappy, the children of those times! Seldom will they
    receive the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. As for the sacrament of
    Penance, they will confess only while attending Catholic schools, which the
    devil will do his utmost to destroy by means of persons in

    “The same will occur with Holy Communion. Oh, how it hurts me
    to tell you that there will be many and enormous public and hidden

    “In those times, the sacrament of Extreme Unction (last
    rites) will be largely ignored.… Many will die without receiving it, being
    thereby deprived of innumerable graces, consolation, and strength in the great
    leap from time to eternity.

    “The sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes
    the union of Christ with the Church, will be thoroughly attacked and profaned.
    Masonry, then reigning, will implement iniquitous laws aimed at extinguishing
    this sacrament. They will make it easy for all to live in sin, thus multiplying
    the birth of illegitimate children without the Church’s

    “Secular education will contribute to a scarcity of priestly
    and religious vocations.

    “The holy sacrament of Holy Orders will be
    ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this both the Church and God Himself
    are oppressed and reviled, since He is represented by His priests. The devil
    will work to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every way, working with
    baneful cunning to destroy the spirit of their vocation and corrupting many.
    Those who will thus scandalize the Christian flock will bring upon all priests
    the hatred of bad Christians and the enemies of the One, Holy, Roman Catholic,
    and Apostolic Church. This apparent triumph of Satan will cause enormous
    suffering to the good pastors of the Church…and to the Supreme Pastor and
    Vicar of Christ on earth who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and
    bitter tears in the presence of God Our Lord, asking for light, sanctity, and
    perfection for all the clergy of the world, to whom he is King and Father.”

    times will come wherein those who should fearlessly defend the rights of the
    Church will instead, blinded despite the light, give their hand to the Church’s
    enemies and do their bidding. But when [evil] seems triumphant and when
    authority abuses its power, committing all manner of injustice and oppressing
    the weak, their ruin shall be near. They will fall and crash to the

    “Then will the Church, joyful and triumphant like a young girl,
    reawaken and be comfortably cradled in the arms of my most dear and elect son of
    those times. If he lends an ear to the inspirations of grace – one of which will
    be the reading of these great mercies that my Son and I have had toward you – we
    shall fill him with graces and very special gifts and will make him great on
    earth and much greater in Heaven. There we have reserved a precious seat for him
    because, heedless of men, he will have fought for truth and ceaselessly defended
    the rights of the Church, deserving to be called ‘martyr.’”

    the end of the nineteenth century and throughout a great part of the twentieth,
    many heresies will be propagated in these lands.…

    “The small number of
    souls who will secretly safeguard the treasure of Faith and virtues will suffer
    a cruel, unspeakable, and long martyrdom. Many will descend to their graves
    through the violence of suffering and will be counted among the martyrs who
    sacrificed themselves for the country and the Church.

    “To be delivered
    from the slavery of these heresies, those whom the merciful love of my Son has
    destined for this restoration will need great will-power, perseverance, courage,
    and confidence in God. To try the faith and trust of these just ones, there will
    be times when all will seem lost and paralyzed. It will then be the happy
    beginning of the complete restoration….

    “In those times the atmosphere
    will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will
    engulf the streets and public places with incredible license…Innocence will
    scarcely be found in children, or modesty in women.

    “He who should speak
    seasonably will remain silent.

    “There shall be scarcely any virgin souls
    in the world. The delicate flower of virginity will seek refuge in the
    cloisters.…Without virginity, fire from heaven will be needed to purify these

    “Sects, having permeated all social classes, will find ways of
    introducing themselves into the very heart of homes to corrupt the innocence of
    children. The children’s hearts will be dainty morsels to regale the
    communities will remain to sustain the Church and work with courage for the
    salvation of souls.… The secular clergy will fall far short of what is expected
    of them because they will not pursue their sacred duty. Losing the divine
    compass, they will stray from the way of priestly ministry mapped out for them
    by God and will become devoted to money, seeking it too earnestly.

    constantly, implore tirelessly, and weep bitter tears in the seclusion of your
    heart, beseeching the Eucharistic Heart of my most holy Son to take pity on His
    ministers and to end as soon as possible these unhappy times by sending to His  Church the Prelate who shall restore the spirit of her priests.Read also the Message Of Our Sallette 1846The  prophecies given to St Anne Catherine Emmerich 18th Century – detailing the temporary subversion of the Church under enemies.Read also the incredible prophecies of “A New Mass” given to Marie Julie Jahenny – the Breton Stigmatic.God Bless.  I hope they ALL come back within the Church to help us. Including Bishop Williamson.- as that would be Our Lord’s Will.

  • Benedict Carter

    Oh dear oh dear. It’s Catholicism 101 Alan that the teaching of the Magisterium can never contradict itself. 

  • frankie2

    But your principles and those of the Catholic church are in opposition – as pointed out by benedict. You do not have a logically coherent position.

  • Alan

    But I specifically stated that I do not accept that there is any contradiction between Vatican II and previous encyclicals.  You seem to think that there is.

  • No more NO!

    Have you seen the Real Catholic TV – CIA (Catholic Investigative Agency) documentaries  that Michael Voris has done?

    “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (Parts 1 and 2) “Mass” meaning relating to the  Tridentine Mass and there is one called  “Rebellion in the Church”

    There is also one called “Global Warming Unmasked” , “Pius XII, “”The Contraception Deception”” Obama’s Counterfeit Catholics”  etc…etc…. There are about 10-12 of them

    They are all available to watch on “YouTube”

    Just type in” Real Catholic TV” and “CIA” – or try this link (If it works!)…23224.26798.0.27089.…0.0.UeknpXUB23c 

    God Bless!

  • Benedict Carter

    I doubt very much whether you have even read the ones in question.

  • pagnol

    You should know that you’re not understanding the word “liberal” correctly, and not defined rightly in a Catholic sense. A liberal is one who seeks to avoid the disciplines of the truth. A little book written by a spanish priest in 1886 examines liberalism (aka liberals) in the light of catholic truth, which truth is always compromised or opposed by anti-catholics, apostates, and so called catholic liberals. It was denounced by one of those “catholic liberals”, another spanish priest who wrote an opposite liberal work. Both works were sent to Rome on appeal to the Sacred Congregation.You might be interested in the result.

    You can read the entire work “LIBERALISM IS A SIN” on line or get the book from TAN publications.

    In any case liberalism can be applied in both the religious and secular arenas as you can perceive if you read Don Felix Sarda y Salvany’s work, though he obviously intended it for religious liberals, heresy, apostasy, etc.
    Don Felix Sarda y Salvany’s
    work has both Censor Librorum and Imprimatur.

  • daclamat

    You’re incorrigible, impugning my intelligence before your myopia. So I give in.  Have it your way. I won’t wave shrouds at you. My Uncle Jim had the good fortune to spend 4 years in Stalag Luft III. As a young officer he failed his driving test over Dunkerk.  His three brothers survived. What’s this to do with the negationist  quasi bishop?
    As you do obscenity pretty well, perhaps you’ll find something for Pathetic isn’t the word.

    My faith and commitment has led me down strange byeways in international relief work for thirty years. Luckily we never met, or I would have lost my faith in your Church much earlier, before I met people Jesus would have recognised.

  • daclamat

    You talking about Marcial’s lot, JPII’s pals? Getting to grips with them should get BXVI time off for good behaviour in purgatory – he’ll need it.

  • Benedict Carter

    What’s it got to do with your post? Your foul slur linking me and my opinions to the idiotic historical musings of Bishop Williamson, that’s what. 

    Though my constant experience of Church liberals /anti-Catholics (one and the same, at the end of the day) is that your deviousness and ruthlessness knows few bounds, it makes me want to vomit each time it happens.

  • steve5656546346

    I don’t follow you:  I don’t know anybody (traditionalist or not) who denies that there are always have been those who seek to destroy the Church–and there always will be.  Additionally, I don’t know anybody who denies that they have been particularly effective in the last 50 years.

  • steve5656546346

    Jorge, all truth is God’s truth.  We never honor God by criticizing others for saying what is absolutely true.  That’s how we got the horrific scandal: by refusing to face evil within the Church.

  • steve5656546346

    Perhaps I’m ill informed?  I recall seeing what Williams said on camera conceding the holocaust.  He did  not deny the holocaust: he quibbled about the exact number and methods of murder.

  • Benedict Carter

    Our Lady told Sr. Lucia of Fatima that “the devil is in the mood for a decisive battle”: the auto-destruction of the Church is part of that battle. 

  • Benedict Carter

    No, I’m not. 

    And we will all be lucky to scrape into Purgatory. 

  • JabbaPapa

    I do not agree with this — having lived in a country where Catholicism is the State Religion, I’d say that the proper relationship between Church and State is not the one that you are describing.

    (FWIW, Alan’s notion that the only alternatives are democracy or dictatorship/civil war is ENTIRELY wrongful — for starters, Vatican City nor the Church are governed by any of these three constitutional states of affair. There are, in FACT, a large number of possible systems of government, and it’s only a pro-democracy propaganda that claims that the only alternative to democracy is societal destruction or some totalitarianism or other)

    More pragmatically, just as there are political concerns that are not governed by Religion, so there are religious affairs that are not governed by politicians. Well, unless you live in the UK or something…

    Traffic regulation, the working structures of Government departments, the telecommunications infrastructures, and an entire host of other such technical or managerial questions have very little indeed to do with religious questions.

    It is not hard to see that similarly, there are great numbers of religious questions that concern central Government not in the slightest — which is the locus of Religious Freedom.

    a) I fundamentally disagree with your notion that the right of religious freedom is “private” — you are, probably unconsciously, pandering to the common theory in the West, which is actually a Marxist notion, that Religion is primarily a private matter. The private *elements* of any religion are outside of State control, certainly — and to deny this is to deny a central element of religious freedom. But from there, it necessarily follows that any true religious freedom needs to be a public freedom, publicly declared, and publicly supported by both Church and State. I’m NOT saying that this is easily acheived — but I AM saying that public religious freedoms are the foundational principle of any such doctrine that we could honestly describe as Catholic.

    b) i therefore disagree with you, for the abovementioned reasons.

    c) ditto

    d) I’m in more of somewhat agreement with you here, even though you falsely suggest that if Catholicism were to lose its majority status, should the State then be freed from following Catholic principles ? A clear error. In fact, the basic Catholic principles concerning political governance are universally applicable to all forms of possible State Government — which means that the duty of proclaiming and supporting these principles belongs equally to the Church herself and to each individual Catholic citizen of each particular Nation State (or equivalent). The Church provides philosophical principles and ideals concerning matters that are not of its direct responsibility — not hard policy diktats. The Church instructs us to follow these principles — she provides no legal methods of coercion to force us to do so.

    e) The relationship with democracy is a difficult one, particularly because democracy tends towards becoming either demagoguery or bureaucracy or other such deep perversions of its own nature. I’d agree with ii) but not i). The notion that all power comes from “The People” is not a notion provided by democracy as such — BUT authority to manage non-religious matters is proivided by popular consensus, popular assent, or by the broad system of elective popular representation.

    Generally speaking, your views require a very strict interrelationship between Church and State that IMO simply does not exist where I have been able to observe Catholiciusm as a State Religion in action — though what you say is probably not unlike the political affairs of Vatican City State.

  • JabbaPapa

    There is a not-very-subtle difference between “religious liberty” and “religious freedom”.

    Liberty is a very US-centric notion, politically, philosophically, and legally — Freedom is the more general principle that the **individual** is fundamentally empowered to exercise self-determination independently of any legal definitions of that Freedom.

    To make a parallel with the current “gay marriage” brouhaha — “gay marriage” pertains to “liberty”, not “freedom”. Liberty states that these people have fundamental legal “rights”, that need to be precisely defined in law and legally upheld by State structures — Freedom states that they may do exactly as they please, with no reason for the State to barge in and define their relationships.

    That is why Religious Freedom is so grossly damaged in the UK — the Establishment of the Church of England means that Parliament and Politicians establish religious laws, rather than the faithful Anglicans themselves. CoE christians are not free to practice their religion independently of State interference, instead they are provided with certain centrally-dictated State-defined “liberties” to do so.

    This is the exact opposite of religious freedom as taught by the Catholic Church.

  • JabbaPapa

    What a perfectly obnoxious rant !!

    Very clearly, your only real purpose was to attack Ben in public, and the means whereby you chose to do so were entirely secondary and accidental to that purpose.

  • JabbaPapa

    Ben, doctrines are provided with varying degrees of doctrinal authority — not everything published in every encyclical nor by each Council is infallible, permanent, and irrevocable — in the EXACT same way that disobedience to doctrine carries a variable charge of sin and religious sanctions depending on the exact degree of importance and authority of the doctrine that has been disobeyed.

    This is not just my personal point of view, it’s the reality of doctrinal theology by its very nature.

    The VAST majority of Catholic teachings are capable of being contradicted, and even changed !! The very small minority of those that CAN’T be contradicted or changed are published in the Catechism of the Church, or otherwise EXPLICITLY described by the Magisterium as being doctrines to be held De Fide.

    The Catholic teachings that are permanent and unchangeable and infallible fit into one book — the totality of Catholic teachings would require an entire Library.

  • JabbaPapa

    If he did, that would very clearly be a purely personal opinion — it’s hard to see which definition of “Ecumenical” he was using though, on the basis of such a vague report…

  • JabbaPapa

    It’s FAR too early to call a new Council.

    The work on the previous one is FAR from being finished…

  • JabbaPapa

    Much as I like Voris’ current attitudes, his shows of some years ago could occasionally lapse into a certain degree of religious dodginess. It’s to his IMMENSE credit that he has moved away from that, and into a generally pretty orthodox attitude at present. :-)

    Having said that, Global Warming deniers are SERIOUSLY mistaken — petty online arguments about the *causes* of Global Warming are utterly irrelevant in the face of its actual material reality, and the need to actually react according to and prepare for the real effects that it will have on real people’s lives in the forthcoming decades and centuries.

    Can it be prevented or slowed down is a *legitimate* political question, even if the answer to that question should turn out to be “No”.

    I mean — Global Warming is in progress, and it has already happened — average sea level is 7cm higher than it was a century ago, and every scientific indication is that the sea level rise is gaining momentum rather than losing it or remaining constant.

  • JabbaPapa

    If you’re going on about the sex scandals again — what you REALLY mean is “within Western society” ; not “within the Church”.

  • Charles Martel

     Point taken, pagnol. It’s hard not to get annoyed by this kind of boneheadedness, though…

  • pagnol

     I agree about “not being too hard” on the other three bishops, and I would add especially on Richard Williamson, whose sermons in the US I have been heard personally. Williamson is blunt and unreserved to make his points heard, but I think I understand him as I do Archbishop Lefebvre when he did the consecrations to defend the Faith as was his duty. I have written to Bishop Williamson and told him so, however also saying that a so called schism within the SSPX would not be helpful to resolve the issues and controversies.

  • pagnol

    Actually (and unfortunately in your sisters case, sorry), liberal should be a four letter word…and rightly so considering liberalism is the gateway ideology to all corruption.

  • SaveSSPX
  • Fides_et_Ratio

    For God’s sake, NO!

    That site supports the continued separation between the FSSPX and the Church.
    That is a disaster!

  • henleng291
  • Eduardo


    Traditional Catholics love the one and only True Mass as codified by the Council of Trent to be prayed in perpetuity. The so called Novus Ordo Mass is a human invention of modernists approved by protestant heretics, should that not be enough to reject it. Was the martyrdom of Saint Bishop Fisher and others who died for and remained faithful  to the One and Only Church outside of which there is no salvation, in vain?

  • Green Art

    It is my religious obligation to express indignation over the presumed claims of many defenders of the “novus ordo” that theirs is the only mass available to all Catholics. Contrary to the true teachings of the Roman Catholic Church the “novus…”(something untraditional) is not the true mass instituted by Jesus Christ but a manifestation created by mere human beings.  How can I accept what is unreal?  Vatican II produces an artificial faith invented by Vatican modernists and heretics bent on false ecumenism. I hope and pray that Bishop Fellay and other SSPX defenders will be spiritually guided in their search for Truth for the sake of Tradition.

  • Savion Himmler

    william oddie your a git, your a hater of the SSPX, and a stupid freemason and zionist lover….you need to just have a coke and a smile, bend down in front of all your Communist Chums, and shut the Fu@# up…

  • savion himmler

    Michael Davies rocks the house