Sunday, March 25, 2012

SSPX Germany: Letter Holds Out "Justifiable Hope" for Reconciliation

Reading from the pulpit of all the Churches and Chapels of the German District of the Society of St. Pius X. As translated from District website:

Dear Faithful,

On the 16th of March Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine and the Faith, presented a letter with clarifications in Rome, to the General Superior of the Society, Bishop Fellay, in which we will be called upon, to give a final affirmation of the Doctrinal Preamble of September 14th, as it has happened till now.

The final deadline for an answer is going to be April 15th, 2012. Certainly you have surely already learned this partly in the media. We are therefore arriving at a decisive point.

If the letter also has struck an unpleasant [unangenehmen] tone, yet it indeed gives justifiable hopes for a peaceful solution. In case this situations happens, it would strengthen all of the important protective powers in the Church; in the other case, these would be significantly weakened and demoralized. Therefore, what is uppermost is not our Society, rather the health of the entire Church.

For this reason we ask the fervent, persistent and beseeching prayers from all of our faithful and all Catholics, so that God, through the salvific sufferings of His only begotten son, leads His Church from Her crisis, and gives her in the holy resurrection of Jesus new life, new strength and blooming.

Stuttgart, 22 March 2012

Father Franz Schmidberger, District Superior


Tony said...

What is the big deal about this? I thought the announcement was going to be something more substantial.

Tancred said... is enthusiastic about it and they usually know what's going on. It's like when investors listen to the Fed Chairman talk about the economy, they listen for key words and phrases that will indicate how he will act in the future with respect to interest rates.

Analogously, Father Schmidberger is signalling the Society's caution surrounding this agreement, but also its increasing "justifiably positive hope" for a reconciliation.

Note that he didn't say anything about expectations on either side or concessions, just that there is a "justifiable hope".

Anonymous said...

It is significant for two reasons. It contradicts Bishop Williamson's most recent public letter, and more importantly, it prepares the faithful for communion with Rome. Such a statement would not be made unless the was a serious likelyhood of an accord.

Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

I do not think it contradicts Bishop Williamson at all. I think it gives a different tone to the expectations. As Bishop Williamson has stated very clearly very succinct the things he sees as to the problems and yet responding in personal manner to a personal plea.

By contrast in this statement Father Schmidberger is responding very much in a professional manner not in a personal way to what is to come for the Society and the Church at large.

servo said...

Oh man Chris, please don't tell me you're thinking of bringing your anti-Williamson crusade over here too. I was hoping to find a refuge from this kind of stuff.

Dolorosa said...

I don't believe that Archbishop Lefebvre would accept any deal from the Vatican today if he were alive. What has changed? The Latin Tridentine Mass has been rejected by numerous bishops and priests so they aren't obeying the Pope. Not to mention that it's not just the mass but the Catholic faith that was changed:
This will cause a split in the SSPX and that's what the Freemasons want but as God's word in the Bible tells us that only a remnant will remain faithful so I pray for Bishop Fellay and the SSPX to be very careful of the wolves in sheep's clothing in the Vatican!

Tancred said...

What's changed? The official structures of the Church are calcified and deteriorating, while the Old Liberals are dying off and not being replaced. Rome has also given the Society everything it's wanted up to this point, including the allowance to be critical of the Pastoral Council.

Tony said...

Yeah, but will Rome allow the Society to continue being critical of the pope?

servo said...

Curious to see how much freedom to speak they are allowed. I'd be crushed if they ever started to wimpify. Doubt if they would, but when I look at the massive influx of watered-down neo-Catholic (neo-Trad?) attitudes into the 'traditional' movement, I can't help but be a little nervous. Guess we'll see.

Tancred said...

Rome allows the Saint Benedict Center, the TFP, priests of the FSSP etc... including Bishop Athanasius Schneider to be critical of Vatican II, do they not?

Actually, the SSPX has a lot more respect for the Vatican Council II documents and abides by it in practice far more than do Benedict's own Bishops, supposedly in union with Rome.

Anonymous said...

Lets pray for a canonical standing for the SSPX. Union is needed; it is what Christ prayed for. Division is from the enemy.

Time to normalize relations.

Yet a split in the SSPX is not outside of the realm of possibility and would not surprise me. Some will come to Peter and some will go into a formal schism which is a terrible thing.

Tony said...

The groups and persons that you indicated do not follow through with the conclusions of their criticisms, that is, refuse to accept the errors of Vatican II (in the light of Tradition) and avoid the New Mass like the plague. Therefore, I take their criticisms with a grain of salt and so does the Vatican. Remember that these groups cannot, in principle, reject the New Mass.

Tancred said...

If they're criticizing the document, they can hardly be said to "accept" it. Is it a Pastoral Council? Yes it is. What no one is clear upon is just what level of submission is required.

Let me repeat this: no one, least of all the Liberal Bishops, actually accept Vatican II. So, if Catholic Bishops don't actually accept and practice the Pastoral Council, what right do they have to expect ascent on the part of anyone else, least of all the SSPX.

Melchior Cano said...

Well, I think the really important thing is that all of us armchair commentators are given the grace of state to determine how to proceed, as well as the gift of prophecy to know what Archbishop Lefebvre would do were he alive. Thanks be to God for democratic American traditionalism!

Tancred said...

Also the Society already accepts the validity of the New Mass.

Ecclesia Militans said...

It is my impression that strange things seem to be happening with the SSPX lately.

It is startling to hear someone from the top saying that the cause of Tradition would be weakened by a lack of agreement at the present time.

This simply is not true, and we know it.
Things would simply proceed in the same way, those who hold to the Truth would continue to do so, those who hold on to lies the same, a status quo, awaiting the (probably soon-to-be) conversion of Rome, the consecration of Russia, and the Great Chastisement.

Can anyone blame Mons. Williamson for holding on to the instructions of the Venerable Mons. Lefebvre - before his death he instructed the Society to wait until Rome converted.

Does anyone else get the feeling that everything is being rushed to completion before the July General Chapter?
Can it be that the current top of the Society is truly expecting to be relieved of their duties, as the rumors indicate?

Would the majority of us SSPX supporters support this agreement?

We are faced with difficult question, but no answers.

One thing is sure, this secrecy seems nothing like what the Venerable Archbishop did.

Holy Mother of God, come to the aid of Your children!

Melchior Cano said...

Ecclesia Militans,

"This simply is not true, and we know it." Do you? How? Again, you do not have the grace of state to make that determination, nor are you involved in the meetings and discussions. The simple reality is: you don't know!

"Can it be that the current top of the Society is truly expecting to be relieved of their duties, as the rumors indicate?"

"Can anyone blame Mons. Williamson for holding on to the instructions of the Venerable Mons. Lefebvre - before his death he instructed the Society to wait until Rome converted."

Quote? Source?

For someone who rattles off at the mouth about the Society, and what's really going on, or what the Archbishop really thought/meant/said, etc. you're woefully ignorant of the Society's statutes. This mid-term meeting does not have the authority to depose. The statutes do not make provision for the general council to depose the Superior General.

But, again, I repeat: Bishop Fellay has not compromised on the Faith yet, we have no reason to doubt him in this question (no compromise yet), and he alone has the grace of state to determine this question, since he alone is charged with leading and governing the Society.

Ecclesia Militans said...

To your first question, then please say how is it exactly that the cause of Tradition can be weakened by not signing?
How is it that the situation would not remain a status quo?

To your final sentence, it is true that His Excellency Mons. Fellay has not compromised yet (and it is noticable how you, perhaps unknowingly, placed the accent on yet), but if we have doubts it is very dangerous to delay warning people until, God forbid, this should happen. If you will notice, I have not accused Mons. Fellay of compromising. I do trust Mons. Fellay and I hope he will act according to God's will, but I expect we have all learned the hard way that we must not put our faith in men.

Concerning the quotes of Mons. Lefebvre's instruction to wait until Rome converts, aside from Mons. Williamson's testimony (which is good enough for me), here are some quotes:

- "This is why I sent a letter to the Pope, saying to him very clearly: "We simply cannot accept this spirit and proposals, despite all the desires which we have to be in full union with you. Given this new spirit which now rules in Rome and which you wish to communicate to us, we prefer to continue in Tradition; to keep Tradition while waiting for Tradition to regain its place at Rome, while waiting for Tradition to reassume its place in the Roman authorities, in their minds." This will last for as long as the Good Lord has foreseen."

- "However, one day they will be obliged to recognize that the Society represents a spiritual force and a strength of the Faith which is irreplaceable and which they will have, I hope, the joy and the satisfaction to make use of, but when they have come back to their Traditional Faith."

Mons. Lefebvre speaking to then Cardinal Ratzinger:
"Eminence, see, even if you grant us a bishop, even if you grant us a certain self-government in relation to the bishops, even if you grant us all the liturgy of 1962, if you grant us to continue the seminaries and Society, as we do it now, we cannot collaborate; it is impossible, impossible, because we work in two diametrically opposed directions: you, you work for the de-Christianisation of society, of the human person, and of the Church, and we, we work for its Christianisation. They cannot be in agreement."
"Biography of Marcel Lefebvre", pages 547-548 (part of the famous lecture from 1987 -

Tony said...


I'm with you.

Ecclesia Militans said...

Thank You, Brother Anthony.
What would You say about these troubling times for the Church?

We can see from the words and actions of the senior churchmen that Rome is still refusing to acknowledge the truth about the Council and the conciliar changes. To them the Council and its fruits is everything, because they are of the Council.

It seems to me that this issue of the Society with Rome, which has developed to a level never before seen, could be the final test, the final temptation for the Society, like a saint being offered to compromise before his martyrdom.

If somehow, Deus clementissimus avertat, the Society compromised the Faith, who would be left to defend the Truth? To use a quote from the Bible, would the stones then cry out?

And if the Society remains steadfast in the Faith, the forces of evil having no more the possibility to deceive it nor to subvert it, would they then strike openly at the Church?

I think we must pray for the Society, now more than ever, to stay true to its mission and, above all, for God's will to be done.