Author Topic: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition  (Read 1731 times)

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Offline XavierSem

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SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
« on: April 15, 2021, 06:26:48 AM »
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  • From Brian Williams over at Liturgy Guy: https://liturgyguy.com/2018/02/26/sspx-seminary-update-vocations-formation-tradition/

    Tradition
    FEB 26
    Posted by Brian Williams

    In the past I have explained why increasing vocations isn’t rocket science. A recovery of orthodoxy and tradition consistently leads to a boom in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Having previously highlighted dioceses such as Lincoln and Charlotte, as well as the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), I would now like to turn your attention to the Society of Saint Pius X.
    Much ink has been spilled discussing the complicated history and canonical status of the SSPX. What hasn’t received nearly enough attention is their continued growth, most visibly illustrated by the 2016 relocation of their U.S. seminary to accommodate new enrollments. 
    I recently had the privilege of corresponding with Father Patrick Abbet, vice rector of the Society’s North American seminary, regarding vocations, formation, and the traditional Latin Mass.
    LG: St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary moved from Winona, Minnesota to Dillwyn, VA in 2016 to help address increasing enrollment. How many seminarians do you now have?
    Father Patrick Abbet: We currently have 80 seminarians. On June 22, God willing, we will have the ordination of seven new priests and six new deacons.
    LG: Did all of your seminarians grow up assisting at the traditional Mass, or did some discover the Mass and the Society of St. Pius X later in their discernment?
    Father Patrick Abbet: Around 80% of our seminarians did grow up assisting at the Traditional Mass. The majority of that figure come from families who attend Mass in SSPX Chapels. Additionally, more than 65% of our seminarians went to one the schools run by the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X.
    LG: Do you have any statistical data on your seminarians, such as average age, average number of siblings, etc.?
    Father Patrick Abbet: The majority of our new seminarians are between 18 and 21 years old. Very often, they come from large Catholics families. The exemplary generosity of their parents is certainly a positive influence on their vocation.
    LG: Does the North American Seminary follow the same curriculum, both academically & liturgically, as H.E. Archbishop Lefebvre established at Ecône?
    Father Patrick Abbet: Yes, we follow the six-year program which Archbishop Lefebvre established. The entire course of studies begins with a year of Spirituality, followed by two years of Philosophy and three years of Theology. During their year of Spirituality, seminarians learn “the principles of the interior life, of life in the presence of God and in union with God, the foundations of the spiritual combat, the soul of the apostolate, and so on; and they apply themselves to putting these principles into practice in their personal life.” (Rule for the Seminary) To this program we have added a preparatory year of Humanities. During this year, seminarians study some classical works of literature, as well as Latin; additionally, they take introductory courses in philosophy, scripture, and the history of the present crisis in the Church.
    LG: I believe I read that the Society has five seminaries and is present in 35 countries. Do most of the North American seminarians come from the US, Canada, and South America? Will most of those who are ordained remain in the Americas?
    Father Patrick Abbet: There are a total of six seminaries of the SSPX worldwide. Our own seminarians come mainly from English speaking countries: specifically, the United States, Canada, and Ireland. Currently, we also have one seminarian from Mexico, and another from the Dominican Republic. Our Founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, wanted every seminary of the SSPX to be international. As far as the assignments of the new priests, I would say that between half and two-thirds remain within the United States.
    LG: As I have written about before, more Catholics are realizing the important role of tradition in fostering discernment & vocations. Dioceses and orders who have begun to embrace the traditional Mass are experiencing increased vocations and fervor. In your opinion Father, what is it about the traditional Mass of the Roman Rite that draws young men to it and (often) to the priesthood?
    Father Patrick Abbet: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass teaches us about the Mystery of Redemption. When we “touch,” so to speak, the love which Our Lord Jesus Christ has for souls, as we see expressed so well in the Mass, we may well be moved to follow Him. Archbishop Lefebvre teaches us that the Mass explains the priest:
    Quote
    “It is obvious that the priest participates in the great mystery of the Redemption. To participate in the mystery of the Redemption is the purpose of his priesthood, it is the raison d’être of his priesthood. His entire life, his entire apostolic life, his entire priestly life is nothing other than to spread the graces of the Redemption, to spread the graces of the Cross. The principal act by which he participates in the Redemption and by which he spreads the graces of the Redemption is, as you undoubtedly know, is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The priest is made, above and beyond all else, to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in order that the graces which descend from the Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ transpierced by a lance, be spread by His Blood: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur, ‘which is shed for you and for many.’ These are the essential words which the priest pronounces at the moment of the consecration at Mass; this Blood which is shed for you, for us and for many. Alas! why is it ‘for many’? Precisely because many have refused it; many refuse the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the graces of the Redemption. This is not because Our Lord did not will to shed His Blood for all, it is said at the Offertory ‘we offer this chalice pro totius mundi salute – for the salvation of the entire world,’ but, alas, in reality, how many countless souls refuse the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
    Thus we see the role of the priest, the essential role of the priest: to offer the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to spread the graces by all of the sacraments and particularly by the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Penance. Moreover we have seen how a holy priest such as the Curé of Ars spent his life at the altar spreading God’s graces by his words and in the confessional spreading the graces of the Redemption for souls. There you have the priest! What a beautiful vocation! What a sublime vocation!” (Sermon given in 1980)
    LG: Lastly, I read that completion of the Seminary was the first priority in Dillwyn, followed by the church. In addition, the entire property is approximately 1,000 acres in total. How is building coming along and what is the next scheduled project? Please let my readers know of any fundraising opportunities underway for those looking to assist you.
    Father Patrick Abbet: We are still finishing certain parts of the Seminary, notably the administrative building, which will contain not only administrative offices, but also a parish hall and a bookstore for the faithful. Then, when God wishes it, we will build the church – a large and beautiful sanctuary to allow the Liturgy in its most solemn form to mold our young seminarians into holy priests, deeply attached to their Mass. In their name, I thank all our benefactors for their constant support. They may follow the ongoing project at http://www.stas.org or http://www.newseminaryproject.org. Please let everyone know that visitors to the Seminary are always welcome, especially for the Sunday High Mass at 10:00am. I also invite the faithful, especially families, to come to the ceremonies of ordinations on June 22 of this year. This beautiful traditional Liturgy is a living catechism on Holy Orders.
    Make this Life Offering to the Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary today! Don't delay! You can Save Souls!

    (1) All your family members will be saved (2) Your loved ones in Purgatory will be released, and (3) you yourself will not need Purgatory if you make it.
    https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering

    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #1 on: April 15, 2021, 06:33:08 AM »
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  • We had a bit over 60 seminarians over 30 years ago ... and that was without that prep seminary thing. They now have 80 ... the difference probably attributable to the prep group.  What did they ordain, like 4 last year?  That was a small class even by 1992 standards.  They could have spent a couple million to add a new wing on at Winona for the prep seminarians and been done with it.  Winona was a beautiful place with tons of room to expand.    They could then have built 45 or so one-million dollar churches all over the country.


    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #2 on: April 15, 2021, 06:36:09 AM »
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  • Why are they building a parish hall for the faithful?  Seminaries really shouldn’t be blended with chapels for the faithful.  Of course a few who have no other option should certainly be admitted, but that should be it.  Are people relocating there?

    They’re actually prioritizing a parish hall for the faithful and a bookstore over the church?

    Online SeanJohnson

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #3 on: April 15, 2021, 06:46:21 AM »
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  • All I saw mentioned was the Latin Mass.

    I didn’t see anything about traditional doctrine or the crisis in the Church.

    Couldn’t they just sell the seminaries, and go study st the FSSP, ICK, and more conservative dioceses?
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #4 on: April 15, 2021, 07:26:22 AM »
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  • All I saw mentioned was the Latin Mass.

    I didn’t see anything about traditional doctrine or the crisis in the Church.

    Couldn’t they just sell the seminaries, and go study st the FSSP, ICK, and more conservative dioceses?

    I don't see why SSPX and FSSP don't just merge already.  What's the difference really?  Maybe that's the plan ... and explains why they needed a $50 million seminary.  Currently the number do NOT justify the expenditure.  I suspect that it was built with a view toward SSPX getting regularized and perhaps merging operations with FSSP.


    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #5 on: April 15, 2021, 07:30:05 AM »
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  • I see that picture of the seminarians processing with their cassocks and surplices, where they exhibit the exterior trappings of traditional religion, but do they have the faith?

    I was just watching a set of videos from the Kolbe Institute (Foundations Restored), and they tie Modernism directly to Evolution ... a connection which I did not clearly see, but was obviously there.  Evidently St. Pius X stated that evolution was the biggest weapon of the Modernists, which then led to the undermining of Scripture.  So we get this new book by Fr. Robinson which basically caves to modern science.  They're literally one logical step away from full-blown Modernism ... if they're not already there.

    Is XavierSem representative of their mindset, proclaiming that Protestants are "real Christians."  Is so, what's the beef with Vatican II?  That's 90% of what Vatican II was about.

    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #6 on: April 15, 2021, 07:32:51 AM »
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  • Well, at least they all appear to be wearing the plain, knee-length surplices ... and not the ankle-length lace lingerie of the Urrutigoity group.

    Online SeanJohnson

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #7 on: April 15, 2021, 07:57:07 AM »
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  • I don't see why SSPX and FSSP don't just merge already.  What's the difference really?  Maybe that's the plan ... and explains why they needed a $50 million seminary.  Currently the number do NOT justify the expenditure.  I suspect that it was built with a view toward SSPX getting regularized and perhaps merging operations with FSSP.
    ...with Bishop Fellay becoming the Personal Prelate.
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-


    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #8 on: April 15, 2021, 09:14:02 AM »
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  • ...with Bishop Fellay becoming the Personal Prelate.

    And then a Cardinal and perhaps even a Pope (in his fancy).  Perhaps these personal ambitions are part of the reason that he covered up some of the pedophilia crimes among the SSPX clergy.  I see the whole new SSPX seminary as an expression of ego rather than what needs to be done for the good of the faithful.  As I said, they could have easily expanded and improved Winona with a couple million dollars and then spent the rest on building churches for the faithful who often have a miserable experience of Mass on Sundays.  St. Peregrine, the SSPX chapel in the Cleveland area, for years and years operated out of a small converted house that could accommodate only 50 faithful, and with a tiny vestibule (literally like 10x15 feet at the most).  About 10-12 years ago they had some aggressive fundraisers under Fr. Libietis that amassed several hundred thousand dollars (close to half a million if I recall).  They even had plans for a new church drawn up.  Somehow that money evaporated.  They are now starting to build the church but are restarting their fundraising efforts.  Somehow the SSPX absconded with the money raised by the faithful for their own church.  Between the proceeds of the sale of the old building (which was in a pretty upscale suburb) and the already-accumulated funds, this should already have been completely paid for.

    Online SeanJohnson

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #9 on: April 15, 2021, 09:41:45 AM »
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  • As I said, they could have easily expanded and improved Winona with a couple million dollars
    Ahh, but those hallways are haunted by the ghost of Bishop Williamson, and the SSPX felt the need to signal to Rome (and the world and the conciliar church) that it was heading in a new direction.  

    Hence the relocation to near the worldwide HQ of the NWO.
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Offline Comrade

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #10 on: April 15, 2021, 09:52:00 AM »
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  • You don't start a multimillion dollar project unless you already have the money secured. It would be a grave sin to use other chapels as collateral to secure a loan. Projects, like the seminary, are used to make money. The seminary becomes the flagship that everyone can rally behind and will generate significant amounts of money until , well, the chastisement.

    I remember when the Seminary rep came to my parish to fundraise he made this disturbing response when someone asked why did they not improve Winona, "Well, we had to do something with that land that was given to us". This reminds me of government administrators using every last bit of their budget to prevent a smaller budget in the following year. This is why I do not contribute monetary funds but only my unique skills in supporting my local chapel.


    Offline cassini

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #11 on: April 15, 2021, 12:05:40 PM »
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  • I see that picture of the seminarians processing with their cassocks and surplices, where they exhibit the exterior trappings of traditional religion, but do they have the faith?

    I was just watching a set of videos from the Kolbe Institute (Foundations Restored), and they tie Modernism directly to Evolution ... a connection which I did not clearly see, but was obviously there.  Evidently St. Pius X stated that evolution was the biggest weapon of the Modernists, which then led to the undermining of Scripture.  So we get this new book by Fr. Robinson which basically caves to modern science.  They're literally one logical step away from full-blown Modernism ... if they're not already there.

    Is XavierSem representative of their mindset, proclaiming that Protestants are "real Christians."  Is so, what's the beef with Vatican II?  That's 90% of what Vatican II was about.

    Before I write a word, let me say I am quite happy to attend our SSPX chapel, get Mass, get the sacraments and pray. Another benefit is that you get to meet like-minded people going there also and lots of good friends as a result.

    But then I heard about a Fr Paul Robinson who taught the seminarians philosophy in Australia. He wrote a book called The Realist Guide to Religion and Science published by Angelus Press, a publishing body that produces some marvellous traditional Catholic books. I read Fr Robinson's book and I could not believe that this priest's philosophy was being taught as traditional and that it had the support of the SSPX. Needless to say it lowered my respect for the Society, filling their seminarians with Traditional and Modernist philosophy together under the guise of Church teaching and all that.

    As I have repeated endlessly and written in the book The Earthmovers, modernism began when popes of the Holy Office in 1820 allowed a once defined and declared heretical heliocentric meaning of Scripture to be accepted by Catholics. This 1820 heliocentrism (that had already come under this natural evolutionary theory by the Nebular theory of 1796) was a Trogan Horse designed to rid supernatural belief in human beings replacing it with natural secular belief. It worked, and fooled everyone, even Pope St Pius X who knew the heresy of all heresies was evolution, but it was too late. You see once popes went along with a 'correction' of Biblical understanding in 1820, they DID NOT CONDEMN A SINGLE EVOLUTIONARY THEORY AFTER THAT LEST THEY BE CAUGHT OUT IN ANOTHER GALILEO DISASTER as they believed.

    So, when Pope Leo XIII wrote his Providentissimus deus in 1893, he had to set out Church teaching on Biblical meaning according to the decision of 1820, a U-turn on Tradition. In this encyclical, the Pope said, or the Mason who wrote it said, some meanings in Scripture must change if science shows they are wrong.

    Fr Robinson, and the SSPX, now share this pot-pourri of tradition and Modernism. On his website Fr Robinson has Aquinas and Stanley Jacki as two who influenced his philosophy. In a sɛƖɛctıon of Q&A, I picked out the following to show readers what the seminarians in the SSPX are getting>

    Question: Why shouldn’t theological arguments be made for something like geocentrism?
    Answer Fr Robinson: For two reasons: a) geocentrism has no direct bearing on matters of faith; b) geocentrism has been soundly disproved by empirical evidence. [Missing here is that all the Fathers held the geocentrism of Scripture to be divinely revealed. If that has no bearing on faith, then nothing else revealed by God in Scripture has either. As for geocentrism being 'disproved,' who are you kidding Fr Robinson. God's word cannot be proven wrong. Anytime you want to take me on about this, let me know]

    In regard to a), it is true that Catholic authors of old have drawn some spiritual reflections from the idea of the earth as being at the center of the universe. However, this is not to use geocentrism as a support for the faith, but rather as a means to stimulate reflection in a faith that is already believed.

    It is not the practice of the Church to bind her members to believe in a certain interpretation of the Bible, unless a dogma of faith is concerned. [So, are you saying the 1616 decree and 1633 trial of Galileo for heresy never happened, or that they were all drunk at the time they defined and declared to deny a geocentric reading of Scripture was formal heresy?]

    But there is no direct connection between geocentrism and any dogma. This is why medieval scholastics, centuries before Copernicus, were able to treat in all freedom both theological and scientific arguments for heliocentrism. This is why Copernicus himself, in his famous book arguing heliocentrism on scientific grounds, also gave arguments why heliocentrism was not against the Bible and also why it redounded more to the glory of God. [More ignorance. Copernicus's book was allowed because in its preface it said only the Bible has the truth asnd this book is for calculatiion only.]

    With regard to b), the Catholic Church allows arguments of human reason to sway her interpretation of the Bible. The reason for this is that she jealously defends both faith and reason. And so, once there was solid empirical evidence that geocentrism was false—the most solid evidence did not come until the 19th century, long after the Galileo case—the Church was quite happy to accept that the Bible does not teach geocentrism, the conclusion that Galileo had wanted to force on the Church prematurely. At that point, it was clear to Catholics that they should no longer try to force a literal interpretation on passages of the Bible that speak of the earth being fixed and unmoving.

    Question: Does your position on scientific questions represent the position of Society of St. Pius X?  
    Answer: The SSPX does not hold official positions on science. The SSPX is a Catholic organization that holds to all of the teachings of the Catholic Church, full stop. But the Catholic Church has never mandated that Catholics hold to geocentrism or heliocentrism, or that they hold to the Big Bang Theory or any other theory

    Question: What do you think of the position of the Kolbe Center on the Bible and science?
    Answer: While I respect the good will of those at the Kolbe Center, I cannot but remark that they adopt the fundamentalist Protestant stance on the relation between the Bible and science. As I explain in great detail in chapter 7 of The Realist Guide, that exegetical stance has several terrible effects:

    • It makes the Bible out to be an enemy of science.[like evolution?]
    • It makes religion out to be an enemy of reason.
    • It makes God out to be an arbitrary ruler of the universe.

    For these reasons, Catholics should adhere to the exegetical principles of the Scriptural encyclicals of Popes Leo XIII, Benedict XV, and Pius XII, which indicate that the Bible is not to be treated as a science book. [Pius XII in Humani Generis said Adam's body could have come from pre-existing matter. Like a living monkey?]

    To argue geocentrism on the basis of the Bible today is, then, contrary to the Catholic spirit in reading the Bible.

    Question: Do you no longer believe in the creation story in Genesis?
    Answer: I read Genesis in the way that the Catholic Church has directed her children to read it. The Church indicates that Genesis 1 is meant to teach us important dogmas of faith, but is not meant to teach us science. Here is a summary of what we are held to believe and what we are not held to believe. 

    What Catholics are held to believe from Genesis 1-3

    • There is one God, outside of the universe, who created that universe from nothing, such that it had a beginning in time.
    • God created man directly and Eve was formed from Adam.
    • Monogenism – the entire human race has a single set of first parents.
    • Our first parents were created in a state of original justice, with gifts of integrity and immortality.
    • They fell from that state by sin and the wound of their sin was communicated to the entire human race.  

    What Catholics are not held to believe from Genesis 1-3

    • the universe is a certain age, the Earth is a certain age, the human race is a certain age.
    • the universe developed in a certain way 

    This is why Cardinal Ruffini, a staunchly orthodox Cardinal at Vatican II, wrote the following in his book The Theory of Evolution Judged by Reason and Faith:

    "God could very well reveal (and who doubts it?) in what order and in what time He made the various things appear in the world; but in His inscrutable wisdom He preferred to leave such questions to human research."
     
     

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #12 on: April 15, 2021, 12:26:45 PM »
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  • And then a Cardinal and perhaps even a Pope (in his fancy).  Perhaps these personal ambitions are part of the reason that he covered up some of the pedophilia crimes among the SSPX clergy.  I see the whole new SSPX seminary as an expression of ego rather than what needs to be done for the good of the faithful.  As I said, they could have easily expanded and improved Winona with a couple million dollars and then spent the rest on building churches for the faithful who often have a miserable experience of Mass on Sundays.  St. Peregrine, the SSPX chapel in the Cleveland area, for years and years operated out of a small converted house that could accommodate only 50 faithful, and with a tiny vestibule (literally like 10x15 feet at the most).  About 10-12 years ago they had some aggressive fundraisers under Fr. Libietis that amassed several hundred thousand dollars (close to half a million if I recall).  They even had plans for a new church drawn up.  Somehow that money evaporated.  They are now starting to build the church but are restarting their fundraising efforts.  Somehow the SSPX absconded with the money raised by the faithful for their own church.  Between the proceeds of the sale of the old building (which was in a pretty upscale suburb) and the already-accumulated funds, this should already have been completely paid for.

    The same thing happened in San Antonio, TX.
    They had a building fund, with various bequests/inheritances and the dollar value was close to half a million dollars.

    Several years ago (a few years into the Crisis-in-the-SSPX in 2012) that money got "re-allocated" to Phoenix, AZ to pay for their new Church. Sure, they are calling it a "loan" -- but let's face it -- that money is going to be invested/tied up for many years to come. 

    Mark my words: I would bet lots of money on the fact that San Antonians at the SSPX chapel will never see a new church building. Ever.

    They've needed a larger chapel since the 90's -- but it never happens. Instead, new people are squeezed out, forced to attend Mass on a TV set in the adjoining parish hall -- and they usually don't come back.
    Feeling generous? Want to say "thank you"? Feel free to send gifts from my Amazon wishlist!
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    Furthermore, I consider that Vatican II must be destroyed.

    Offline Mr G

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #13 on: April 15, 2021, 12:30:41 PM »
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  • Question: Does your position on scientific questions represent the position of Society of St. Pius X?  
    Answer: The SSPX does not hold official positions on science. The SSPX is a Catholic organization that holds to all of the teachings of the Catholic Church, full stop. But the Catholic Church has never mandated that Catholics hold to geocentrism or heliocentrism, or that they hold to the Big Bang Theory or any other theory

    So the SSPX does not hold an "official position", then why was Fr. Rusak's criticism of Fr. Robinson's book not allowed? 
    Fr. Robinson says you can hold any position you want, as long as it is his position!

    This is the same liberalism within the SSPX that says there has not been any changes since 2012. At least have the decency to admit there was changes and then defend the change in position, but to deny anything has changed is typical liberal madness. I am surprised they have not come out to say that there were no cheating and fraud during the 2020 ɛƖɛctıons!

    Offline Minnesota

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    Re: SSPX Seminary Update: Vocations, Formation and Tradition
    « Reply #14 on: April 15, 2021, 12:42:53 PM »
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  • This is an honest question:

    Do any of you think that at some point there will be another split within the SSPX? That more traditionally-minded, old guard priests and chapels may just become independent or even join the Resistance?
    Get off the internet and say your rosary!

    Pray for one another.


     

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