(Menzingen) The Catholic monthly magazine Il Timone has published the following article about the traditional Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) not presently in unity with Rome.
"Six years ago, on 10 March 2009, Pope Benedict XVI wrote the "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church Concerning the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre." It was one of the most moving and vibrant documents of his magisterium and at the same time also one of the most dramatic. It was created to respond to a wild campaign, which was sparked by the media and parts of the Church against him, to give in to the "biting and devouring" as St. Paul complains in his letter to the Galatians, and what Benedict XVI. then pointed to describe the climate of those days.
In his letter, which is worth reading in its entirety because of its clarity and depth, Benedict XVI wrote. amongst other things:
'Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church? I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?'
The letter has new relevance these days because of two events. The first is that Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X has announced that the Society has a count, this year in its history, of more than 600 priests for the first time. More than 100 priests in just six years. Today, the Society maintains permanent establishments in 35 countries. However, their Apostolate extends to 70 countries. Its spread is particularly strong in the US, where it is building a new seminary, which will become its largest seminary. 'Shall we let them drift farther from the Church?' asked Benedict XVI. in his letter.
The second message is extremely fatal, published yesterday by Rorate Caeli. One of the four bishops consecrated by Lefebvre, Richard Williamson,who was expelled in 2012 from the SSPX, wants to at least consecrate one new bishop: Father Jean-Michel Faure, former superior of the Latin American District of the SSPX and former rector of the seminary La Reja, Argentina. He also belongs with Williamson, to those who have left the Society. The ordinations are to take place in the monastery formerly associated with the SSPX of Santa Cruz in Nova Friburgo, a city in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With the episcopal ordination Williamson would again incur excommunication , as well as for the new illegitimate bishop, and it would form one of those runaway lines of apostolic succession that Rome has tried to avoid in all circumstances, because they are able to produce schismatic groups, because it is a sacramental Potestas they can claim for themselves.
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Il Timone
Image: Il Timone
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org