Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Society of St. Pius X Six Years After the Letter of Benedict XVI Between Vocations and Schism

(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
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotail.com
AMDG

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does Bishop Williamson's consecration of a bishop in 2015 differ from Archbishop LeFefebvre's consecration of four bishops in 1988?

Tancred said...

Big difference. +Williamson deployed his troops on the Jewish question, whereas +Lefebvre's concerns were primarily liturgical and he also held the high ground, was a more intelligent and systematic thinker, perhaps as well, owing to his work with as Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, working on a world scope. +W lost it when he failed to get support to end run his disciplining. I doubt this will amount to much.

Anonymous said...

So, their motives clearly differ but, as you say, at root both create a "runaway line of apostolic succession." That sounds very bad. Even inexcusable--even if, as with all things human, forgivable?

Long-Skirts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Long-Skirts said...

In 1988 the situation was different:

i) Archbishop Lefebvre had secured, in principle, from Rome permission to consecrate a bishop;
ii) The archbishop relied on the permission in the May 5th protocol for consecrating: “You four will be bishops for the Church, at the service of the Society of St. Pius X, as laid out in the Protocol of May 5.”;
iii) The bishop’s were to be auxiliaries of the Society itself and have no jurisdiction;
iv) The bishop serve the Society only: “Do not ordain men who are on their own, and if they form part of a community, take a good look at the community.”;
v) Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer were the last two bishops willing to make a stand against VII and their health was starting to fail. Hence, an act of necessity;

None of this can be claimed by Bp. Williamson and his followers. There is no new state of necessity and there already exist three bishops who travel the world for confirmations and ordinations.

susan said...

Archbishop Lefebvre will one day be raised to the altar.

Anonymous said...

Lefebvre died, excommunicated, in schism, outside the Church.

Tancred said...

And Cardinal Mahony is in good standing, able to vote for the next Pope.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Williamson has led other flourishing religions communities once loyal to the SSPX into his error. The Dominican driars of Avrille, France were the last remnants of the once great Dominican Order. They were traditional, celebrated the old Mass, and wore the monastic tonsure as all European and Latin American Dominican friars did (except in England, Ireland, and never maintained in the USA). Saint Thomas Aquinas would have felt right at home in Avrille.
But they joined Williamson, and thus, it is probably the end of their monastery and branch of the Dominicans. Same for the Benedictine monastery of the Holy Cross in Novo Friborgo, Brazil where Williamson will consecrate his new Bishops.
These new Bishops are true Catholic bishops, more Catholic that then present Vatican II army of bishops, but it is unfortunate it had to happen in this way with Williamson.

susan said...

"Lefebvre died, excommunicated, in schism, outside the Church"

And that will be rectified one day...you and I will not live to see it, but Church time is slow. Lefebvre will be raised to the altar.

Anonymous said...

2009 was a pivotal year for Pope Benedict it was primarily due to this act of mercy that they began plotting against Benedict. They told him not to do it and he smiled and went ahead. God Bless him. He is a Saint.

Anonymous said...

This act of mercy costed a papacy, a few weeks later was issued the famous interview by Bp.Williamson to Sweedish tv....be grateful to this great and bold Catholic Roman Pontiff, I'm afraid he's the last one. May God bless and protect him from the evil that's inside the Vatican.

Anonymous said...

Williamson, like Lefebvre will probably die excommunicated, in schism, outside the Church and completely deranged as well.

Long-Skirts said...

Williamson is no Archbishop Lefebvre!

RIGHTEOUS
THUNDER


Five times banished
Exiled seventeen
Excommunicated champions
God puts at each scene.


Saint Athanasius,
Feast day of worth
On the second of May
The month of great mirth.


Out in the deserts –
As history has charted –
You preserved the true Mass
Great lion-hearted.


Now Lefebvre
And the sixties egalitarians
Like Athanasius,
His time his Arians.


For He who abolished
Death by death
Sent him to absolve
Sin width and breadth.


And yes the same moon
The same sun we're all under…
We venal rain - but Lefebvre

Righteous thunder!!

Anonymous said...

"Sadly, Williamson has led other flourishing religions communities once loyal to the SSPX into his error." Which is? I'm thinking this is another thing like condemning the poor Orthodox over the filioque...even though the addition of the filioque adds nothing of substance to the creed and they're keeping the original creed. If Williamson is in REAL error, how come nobody will say what that error is????

susan said...

Anon 4:10...you no doubt would have been railing against Athanasius (who, like Lefebvre in a time of true crisis, also consecrated his own bishops)...all the while screaming, "Christ is not divine! Christ is not divine!...you're in schism!"

Anonymous said...

Que?

Grandma said...

Preserving the True Faith/Tradition? Consecration of bishops without a papal mandate is as "un-Catholic" as it gets. Pretty simple.

Ryan said...

Anonymous at 7:32. I bet you're super sensitive to the "marginalized" and those on the "peripheries" aren't you? Really Enlightened comment you made there. Tancred is on the right track...plenty of episcopal psychopaths in "good standing" and able to vote for popes or run a diocese into the ground. Im happy to provide a list if you need one. But you don't need one, you've already assumed the power to declare holy men outside the Church.

susan said...

tell it to SAINT Athanasius.

Anonymous said...

Arius didn't deny that Christ was divine. Arius theory was simply that there was a time when only the hypostasis of the Father was, and then the Father begot the divine son, and yet this time was before time, so that by the beginning of time God was Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Fact is, most modern Trinitarians actually hold to Arius' theory and don't know it. Fact also is, the Nicene Creed actually contain Arius' theory: "God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God"....the "of"s clearly denote derivation from the Father in such a way that at one point he does not exist as a distinct hypostasis and at the next he does...that's Arianism. The First Council of Constantinople obviously realized this was the case so they tacked an Anathema on to the creed to fix it "And we Anathemize anyone who says that there was a time when the Son was not." But it was a little too late to fix the Arian, oh excuse me, Nicene Creed.

Anonymous said...

Popes didn't used to appoint bishops. Bishops used to be elected by the churches over which they would rule. Popes appointing bishops probably only goes back to Vatican One in the 1860s.

Anonymous said...

So why then, if the above is the case, did three of the $$PX bishops - with the approval of the Superior General but not the Pope - consecrate Mgr. Rangel in Campos in 1991? Surely, one of the four bishops could have travelled to Brazil for ordinations and consecrations?

Anonymous said...

You are wrong, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia entry for Arianism. And the teachings of St. Paul and St. John regarding Christ's nature preceded Arius, right? You seem to be quoting some other translation, as the Creed as stated at Mass is worded "... God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God..." The Christian understanding has always been that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal and co-eternal.

susan said...

nice tapdance...you should work for the obama administration.

susan said...

This is a good read and explanation on the issue, with historical fact throughout....

http://fsspx.org/en/publications/newsletters/consecration-fr-jean-michel-faure-7443

Grandma said...

Susan could you please provide the source of your statement that St. Athanasius did in fact consecrate bishops after he was exiled from his position of authority in the Church?

susan said...

Came across the claim a couple of times last week, though I, admittedly, saw no citations. The reference might be in regard to his consecrating Frumentius circa 340-346 (according to some historians)...this would put it in the middle of Athanasius' 2nd exile.

Anonymous said...

For the record I am Roman catholic holding the sedevacantist position.While not agreeing 100% with the SSPX,they do have valid priest's & bishop's.My worry is if they re-unite with the Vatican 2 sect,the society would be forced to admit invalid priest's/bishop's into their ranks.It would nullify their holy sacrifice of the mass and all other sacraments.

Anonymous said...

Also look into St.Ansgar being appointed bishop and setting up a dioceses without the popes knowledge or pre-approval.Secondly the Maronite catholics ordained/consecrated their own clergy while living in self imposed exile for 400 years in the mountains of Lebanon.Yes St.Anthanasius ordained his clergy during the Arian Crisis.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to your first sentence it explained the ignorance in the remainder of your post.

Anonymous said...

Not true,Archbishop Kurz,Fr.Gommar Depauw,Fr.James Wathen,Archbishop Thuc,Archbishop Mendez, and few others resisted, fought, and abandoned Vatican 2.The 2 bishops you cite happen to receive the most credit.

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you very much!