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SSPX leaders have rejected Vatican statement, says superior

By on Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the SSPX, ordains a priest in Econe, Switzerland (Photo: CNS)

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the SSPX, ordains a priest in Econe, Switzerland (Photo: CNS)

Leaders of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) have agreed that the doctrinal preamble presented to them by the Vatican is “completely unacceptable”, according to the society’s district superior in Britain.

In a newsletter posted online and subsequently removed, Fr Paul Morgan said SSPX superiors had rejected the doctrinal principles set out by the Vatican as the basis for further discussion.

The superiors met last month in Albano, Rome, but said they would only issue a response to the Vatican after further study.

In an official statement today the SSPX said that “only the General House of the Society of St Pius X is entitled to make public an official communiqué or authorised commentary on this matter”.

In his letter Fr Morgan said it was “disappointing” that the doctrinal statement, handed to SSPX leaders by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “failed to acknowledge the break between traditional and conciliar teachings”.

“Instead,” he wrote, “it insisted upon the ‘hermeneutic [interpretation] of continuity’, stating that the new teachings included and improved upon the old!

“So it was perhaps not surprising to learn that the proposed doctrinal basis for any canonical agreement in fact contained all those elements which the Society has consistently rejected, including acceptance of the New Mass and of Vatican II as expressed in the New Catechism. Indeed, the document itself conveys the impression that there is no crisis in the Church…

“Hence the stated consensus of those in attendance was that the doctrinal preamble was clearly unacceptable and that the time has certainly not come to pursue any practical agreement as long as the doctrinal issues remain outstanding.”

The Vatican statement listed several principles that the SSPX had to agree with in order to move towards full conciliation with Rome.

It came after two years of doctrinal talks between leaders of the SSPX and officials at the Vatican.

  • crouchback

    Posted …then removed….so clearly everything short of Bishop Williamson elevating himself to the Throne of Peter, would suit Fr Morgan….who is almost as nutty as his master, “Pope” Richard.

    Whatever Bishop Fellay says yea or nay to the Preamble….the ones responsible for this posting  debacle should be chucked out of the Society before breakfast time.

    At our parish last week there were 295 at mass almost all of whom would be pensioners.  Back in 1968 they had 1200 attending mass…..this is the real crisis…..

    But Bishop Wiliamson and Fr Morgan get het up about whether women should wear trousers…..and other things, not mentioned in polite company.  They keep banging the drum of eccentricity hoping that they can for ever sit in the Ghetto ……well it will not do…..they have to get out in to the parishes and start harrying the Novus Ordo failures on their home turf.

    I was at two Novus Ordo masses recently, said by one of the best priests in this diocese……both were piss poor compared to the Real Mass…..the Traditional Mass….

    Nothing else will do.  

  • Louie Verrecchio

    “…the document itself conveys the impression that there is no crisis in the Church.”

    If true, this speaks volumes.

  • Karl

    I suspect the truth of the matter is that, as was envisioned when it was proposed, the terms of the doctrinal preamble are being negotiated. (The CDF made clear it was a provisional document.) Sadly, opponents of regularisation – on both sides – will probably seize on, and magnify, Fr Morgan’s unauthorised remarks in order to depict any further negotiation as futile. One has to wonder whether Fr Morgan (currently sharing living quarters with Bishop Williamson) was unaware of this likely outcome when he wrote what he did.

  • Louis Tofari


    MENZINGEN (11-2-2011) Since the meeting of the
    seminary Rectors and District Superiors of the
    Society of St. Pius X in Albano (Italy) on
    October 7, 2011, several comments have been
    published in the press about the answer that
    Bishop Bernard Fellay should give to the Roman
    propositions of September 14th.

    It has to be recalled that only the

    SSPX’s General House has the
    competency to publish an official communique or
    authorized comment on the subject.

    Until further notice, one should reference the

    communique of October 7, 2011.
    (DICI of 11/02/11)

  • Brian A. Cook

    I knew this would happen.  These people proclaim themselves to be the only True Catholics.  They dig in their heels and refuse to accept the Church’s maturation.   It is sad that these sheep stray, but they seem to be long gone.  May God give the leaders of Mother Church the wisdom to know where to go now.

  • Anonymous

    I hope this is not the final word on the matter. We who are sympathetic to Tradition and extremely unsympathetic to the ” hermeneutic of rupture” supporters who impose all sorts of liturgical travesties badly need the SSPX within the Church to act as allies in the ongoing war – I do think it is accurate to phrase it that strongly – for the soul of the Church.

  • Karl

    The whole “trousered women” business makes me wonder: would Bishop Williamson have refused communion to St Joan?

  • Dan

    I hope at least if the Preamble is rejected, that the SSPX recieve faculties from the Holy Father to absolve sins.
    I do not believe all the winding weird “logic” the SSPX use to justify their “Ecclesia Supplet”.

  • Hello There


    You have just made a happy man very old !

    Do you not feel that Fr. Morgan has enough on his hnds without your hurtful, unnecessary and non-constructive public expressions?  And as for your snide remarks about Bishop Fellay, who may not be a bad choice for the next Pope, what have you done to promote the Society?

    I dare say you would be glad enough to welcome either of them to your bedside to give the the last rites though.

    You should be ashamed of yourself and I hope you will be man enough to apologise publicly on this blog.

  • stmykearchangel

    Amen brother…

  • civilian

    Father Malachi Martin, the world’s expert on the Roman Catholic Church, one who read the contents of the third secret of Fatima, has endorsed SSPX as a valid traditional mass, with valid priests giving out valid sacraments.
    He said on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell, he had attended 200 Novus Ordo new masses and said 98% of them were INVALID. Specifically, during the consecration of the Eucharist, Novus Order use the word “ALL”, as in all will be saved…..Malachi pointed out the traditional mass uses the word “MANY”, as in not all would be saved but many. You can see the ecumenical movement has destroyed the mass. I attend only SSPX.

  • Brendan

    So the monumental crisis in the church is given the misnomer ‘maturation’ by Mr Cook. What a joke.

  • John Harmsen

    I am not in the least surprised. Not until modernist Rome abandons the Novus Ordo,stops false ecumenism and
    returns to what ALL popes up until Pius XII have taught is a reconciliation with Traditionalism possible.
    We must continue to pray for this and pray HARD.

  • Jack Regan

    Perhaps after this the CDF will adopt my chosen strategy to the SSPX: completely and utterly ignoring them.

    (oh, and changing Canon Law so that Catholics only fulfil their Sunday obligation by going to a Mass said by a priest who actually has faculties!!)

  • Anonymous

    The difficulty wiith what some call maturation, is that, if it really is maturation, to assert it is maturation is not good enough; there is an urgent need to show that – say – *Dignitatis Humanae* is in continuity with the Tradition of the Church, and not a contradiction of it. To assert a continuity without giving the theological proof of it simply is not good enough. SSPX aside, this issue of demonstrating, not merely asserting, that there is continuity, is essential for honest and consistent theology and apologetics; and for the Church’s message and the preaching of that message. So this asserted but undemonstrated maturation could hardly be more vital, for a Church that takes doctrine as seriously as the CC does.

  • John Paddy

    What about frocked men…. just asking!

  • Jack Hughes

    Civillian, I know 3 traditional Priests who say the Traditional Mass most of the the time, 2 say it all the time and the other  says the Traditional Mass everyday in addition to the the Novus Ordo, as they are very reverent I’m sure that its valid.

    You will also be delighted to know that from Advent when all the parishes in the english speaking world switch over to the new translation (many parishes have done so in the past week as their missels have arrived) you will be able to attend any Mass in the English speaking world confident of its validity.

    Therefore there is no reason to go to the SSPX.

  • Anonymous

    @CivilianThe word “all” was not intended to imply “all will be saved” (universalism) and, in case there is any doubt, the new translation uses the word “many”.

  • Karl

    I adopt a similar tactic with respect to laymen who are struggling with the delusion that they’re ministers of the Catholic religion.

  • Anonymous

    But no-one denies that the SSPX has valid masses and sacraments, that’s not the issue at all.

  • Ricardo Boncan

    So you’re saying that YOU are right and the Vatican, that is, Peter’s successor, is wrong? Wait didn’t Luther say that too?

  • Anonymous

    Well said Sir. There’s no doubt that Williamson is a total liability. The SSPX is full of good people that we need to continue the fight for tradition. Williamson seems to spend his time either being needlessly offensive of concentrating on irrelevancies. He takes attention away from the core issues.

  • Ricardo Boncan

    You don’t try to reform the church by shouting from the outside and throwing stones at the church’s windows. Every saint who has sought to make reforms has done so by humbly and obediently working from the inside. It’s always about pride. It seems as though the “salvation” of the church is dependent on the SSPX. If this reconciliation doesn’t happen, they will end up like any other schismatic group out there.

  • John Brayton

    You aren’t up on the new translation, are you?!?  Maybe if you went to a Catholic church…..?  Take a look. First Sunday of Advent we go back to “many”!

  • Benedict Carter

    Well said, Crouchback. The marvellous men of the SSPX have one or two weirdoes alongside them, unfortunately, and here is one of them trying to put a spoke into the wheel. I pray that Bishop Fellay will do all he can to accept the Doctrinal Preamble. It is time for the SSPX to be inside changing things.

  • Anonymous

    I must say that I find this whole situation rather sad. If it is true that SSPX rejected the Vatican Statement, they are on their way to becoming new Protestants. I also find it amazingly arrogant and downright sinful to claim that the Novus Ordo Mass is invalid. May God forgive those that make such an inane statement!

  • crouchback

    Hello there…..Hello there…!!!

    I don’t know what Fr Morgan has on his hands. I do know that there is a lot of foot dragging going on, people wanting to live in a fantasy world where Vatican II never happened, and all we would have to do was get the Pope to burn the documents in a puff of smoke up the Sistine Chapel chimney and all would be well……and until that day the Society’s job was to sit in the Ghetto issuing absurd calls for the reintroduction of the Morris Minor as the family friendly car….or whatever.

    The Excommunications are history…they are even less than that, since they have been totally wiped away,  the Traditional Mass has been opened  up to the whole Church…..fair enough the Bishops are a bunch of……you fill in the blanks, I’ll loose it if I start and the moderators would cut me to pieces…..lets say they Do not like it.  The Doctrinal things that are away above my pay grade, need fixing…..and this will happen, given time.

    But what we don’t need right now is for the loony fringe in the Society to be jumping the gun….as they so blatantly have done with this Up….Down again post…..Why would they be wanting to jump the gun…??? It wouldn’t  be that they are comfortable in the ghetto…..and by jumping the gun they hope to sink any chance of the Society being “regularized” ……therefore allowing them selves to strut around in front of the Bowing and scraping brigades…..Well that won’t do

    Especially after the letter that Bishop Fellay sent to Bishop Williamson before the Albano meeting…..that was somehow “leaked” on to the internet…..despite Bishop Fellay saying in the letter that it was between him and Bishop Williamson……yet Bishop Williamson sends copies out to “friends”

    I never thought the Society would split, but people will have to be very careful if they are to avoid that.  It would seem that a split  could happen.

    I’m with Bishop Fellay…..whatever happens.

  • crouchback

    The New Translation is the same old Novus Ordo it ever was in the hands of the mostly useless priests we have these days.

    I’m never falling for that old chestnut of the Novus Ordo being “Invalid”… is a valid right of the Church…..but even with all the flim-flammery  that you get on EWTN…’s just no use, boring.

    In fact if some priest had the guts to stand up and say….”Next week I’ll be saying an Invalid Mass”…..I probably go along for a look see……it could hardly be any worse that the ones that I’ve been to that I have taken on trust ARE valid.

    The only solution is to go back to the Traditional Mass….SSPX, “Indult”…..any where as long as it’s the real mass.

  • crouchback

    Oops…..Valid Rite…….sorry.

  • Anonymous

    Angel, in 1902 and 1904 the Stigmatist of La Fraunde, Marie Julie Jahenny, predicted that at that time there were men who were creating a new liturgy, words of which would be “odious to God”, and that this mass would be promulgated when priests would be under great testing by satan.  In addition, the Novus Ordo mass was co-authored by Protestant advisors and Msgr. Bugnini, who was later discovered to be a Mason.  If you would like to explore the break with tradition that Vatican Council II promulgated, please read the work “Animus Delende”.  It is an eye opener as it systematically demonstrates that many of the fathers of the Council were, in fact, Modernists.

  • Anonymous

    Be careful.  Check the teachings of Vatican II with 19 centuries of Catholic Tradition, and remember that St. Paul warned about the great apostasy that would take place before the coming of the “man of perdition”.  I would not be so quick to judge who are the true Catholics and who are the strays.

  • crouchback

    See this……

    This is exactly what the SSPX could be doing…..there would be a tidal wave of priests working with the SSPX…but we need the crazy stuff to be locked away and the key dropped in the Ocean.

  • Anonymous

    Nonsense.  Read the words of Christ at the Last Supper.  Nowhere will you find “All”.  You will only find “Many”.

  • Guest

    Liberal Catholics hate BXVI because “the hermeneutic of continuity” runs against their desire to have V-II justify their liturgical abuses.

    SSPX hate BXVI because “the hermeneutic of continuity” runs against their desire to have V-II justify their insubordination.  

    The moderate position is this.  V-II had been hijacked by liberal elements, and the Church needs the SSPX to do a proper Novus Ordo mass to “show em how it’s done.”

  • Guest

    I completely agree.  I think the greatest thumb in the eye of the liberals would be an SSPX Novus Ordo mass.  I wouldn’t want to force the SSPX to do the NO mass, but if they chose to put a proper one on, that would be great!  I can see all the liberals now: “where are all the women?  Where are the sock puppets???”

  • Anonymous

    @Midwester    I don’t think you have understood what I was trying to say.

  • Anonymous

    This has been overtaken by an SSPX statement that Fr. Morgan is not empowered, in any sense, to make such a statement.  Troublemaking!

  • Anonymous

    Oh sheesh, now a mystic from the early 20th Century is to be listened rather than the Church established by Jesus Christ??? ROFL, Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail. Sadly, SSPX are now laying the groundwork for becoming  new protestants. Finally, yes, the Sacraments of SSPX are valid BUT illicit. I cannot  go to an SSPX Mass as my Sunday obligation unless there is no way I can go to a REAL Catholic Mass!

  • Trealach

    Typical of the SSPX protestants to first reject the ‘infusion’ of the Holy Spirit during Vatican II, but to change what Christ said at the Last Supper is taking a joke too far. Christ’s words during the First Consecration used the word “ALL” since the word “Many” did not exist at that time in Aramaic – the language Christ spoke, Not Latin!! 

    His SACRIFICE was for ALL, even though not ALL would accept it. His words are clear “Take this ALL of you and drink from it, this is the Cup of my Blood, the New and Everlasting Covenant. It will be SHED FOR you AND FOR ALL so that sins will be forgiven. Do this, in memory of Me”. 

    Now show me where He said “MANY will be Saved”, and I don’t want your interpretation.

  • Paulmck

    Did the world Hijack the term ‘Novus Ordo’ from the Church, or is the Church’s ‘Novus Ordo’ hyjacked from, (or part of the hermeneutic of continuity with,) the Novus Ordo Seculorum’?

    The SSPX does not hate the Pope.

  • Anonymous

    Neither do liberal Catholics! I am not liberal in any sense of the word because I DO accept all of the Church teachings as being inspired by the Holy Spirit….including Vatican II!

    BTW, my reply was to Guest!

  • Patrick Mulvey

    Having served hundreds of Latin masses in my youth, I would heartily disagree with your statement calling the NO ‘boring’.  I will admit that a sung Latin High Mass is the pinnacle of cultural and religious experience, but nothing is more ‘boring’ than the ordinary Latin low Mass.  I have recently attended a couple of Sunday low Masses and nothing I experienced has changed my decades long perceptions.  I do attend a Byzantine Catholic Church frequently, in the vernacular, and find the Divine Liturgy to extremely reverent and mystical in a way that neither a Latin low Mass or NO Mass can compare – it is ironic that fellow Catholics (SSPX included) ignore other rites in the Church as if they are not part of the discussion even though the Eastern liturgy has a pedigree equal (Antioch)  and predating the formalized Latin rite of the Council of the 16th century.  However, we are lucky to have God’s Church and recent Popes who have realized that the Mass is universal and that the time had come in the 20th century to better integrate the Eucharist into modern life in various forms.  I believe this to be the case otherwise we would still be celebrating the Eucharist in Greek as most early Mediterranean Christians did in the 1st Century.  Hopefully the Mass will be celebrated in millenia  to come in languages yet to be formed.  If you are a Catholic you either believe what Our Lord promised about His Catholic Church or not.          

  • Robin Ryan

    Excellent news – when will the Vatican realise they are dealing not just with schismatics but with heretics.

  • Believer

    “what have you done to promote the Society”Why not rather promote Jesus Christ?

  • James H

    Personal revelations are not trustworthy guides to the faith.

  • James H

    The new translation already in use since September (and for a few years already in Australia and South Africa) says ‘for many’.

  • James H

    There are sock puppets in the NO Mass?

  • Lee Der Heerskinderen Lovelock

    The word for ‘many’ does exist in Aramaic here is the root of it here and its uses throughout the Bible.

  • Lee Der Heerskinderen Lovelock

    The new translation is still defective. Has anyone looked at the butchered Roman Canon or the fact we now have ‘choice’ in a rite where choice was somewhat forbidden. Sorry the Novus Ordo fulfils the BARE minimum to an extent that it’s like someone ‘just’ passing their breathalyser test after been stopped by the police by 1mg! 

  • EditorCT

    Well, among those who expressed deep concerns about the new Mass at the time of its concoction were the top Cardinals, Bacci and Ottaviani.  Read their concerns on the Mass page at

    Oh and Pope Benedict, writing the preface to a book by a liturgical expert (a real one) described the new Mass as “a banal on the spot production”

    Monsignor Klaus Gamber, whose book the then Cardinal Ratzinger was prefacing, said that while it would not be true to say that the new Mass is per se invalid, there can be no doubt that the number of invalid Masses had increased since its introduction.  Would you take such a risk with your soul, as to attend a Mass that the Pope himself calls “banal” and that may well be invalid? 

    Not me. I’ll stick with the Mass that nourished the saints and martyrs for centuries. No risk there.