#55: Contradiction (SSPX Denounces the Episcopal Consecration of Bishop Faure):
On March 19, 2015 Bishop Williamson consecrated Jean Michel Faure bishop at the Holy Cross Monastery in New Fribourg, Brazil.
That same day, the SSPX media machine went into high gear trying to distinguish between Bishop Faure's episcopal consecration and those of Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988.
Surely they were troubled by the thought of the parallels so evident to the clergy and faithful of the SSPX and Resistance, and in an attempt to limit the damage, published articles trying to distinguish between the two.
The first one was a communique of the General House on 3/19/15, in which it was alleged that:
"In 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre had clearly indicated his intention to consecrate auxiliary bishops who would have no jurisdiction, because of the state of necessity in which the Society of St. Pius X and faithful Catholics found themselves at that time."https://sspx.org/en/consecration-of-fr-jean-michel-faure
But informed readers must have been quite perplexed to see this fact alleged as a distinction
between the 1988 and 2015 consecrations, since in the reading of the Mandatum Apostolicum
, Bishop Williamson clearly stated that:
"By this handing down of the episcopal power of Orders, no episcopal power of jurisdiction is assumed or granted..."https://www.cathinfo.com/sspx-resistance-news/official-statement-by-bishop-williamson-regarding-consecration/
In fact, if one compares the Mandatum Apostolicum of Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 with that of Bishop Williamson in 2015, he will note that the first couple paragraphs are nearly identical. The only real difference is the addition of a 3rd paragraph by Bishop Williamson explaining that the liberalized SSPX will not be an option to obtain a bishop for Tradition.
(See Archbishop Lefebvre's mandate here: https://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/Archbishop_Lefebvre_and_the_Vatican/Part_I/1988-06-30B.htm
The SSPX article continued:
"After having done everything conceivable to gain permission from the Holy See, Archbishop Lefebvre proceeded with the solemn consecrations on June 30, 1988..."
But in arguing along these lines, the SSPX makes a twofold self-condemnation:
Firstly, the SSPX made no attempt whatsoever to secure the permission of modernist Rome in 1991, when three of its bishops consecrated Licinio Rangel to the episcopate following upon the death of Bishop Castro de Mayer. Therefore, if Bishop Williamson's actions were odious in 2015 for making no attempt to secure the permission of Rome, then so were the SSPX's actions in 1991.
Secondly, the reason why the SSPX never approached Rome regarding the 1991 consecration of Licinio Rangel is because, as it used to teach, the Pope would have said "no," but such refusal would not have relieved them of their duty to come to the aid of souls trapped in necessity, so there's no point in asking:
"But it is the pope himself who is favoring or promoting a course for the Church infected by neo-Modernism which threatens the goods fundamental to souls, goods indispensable for the salvation of souls, e.g., faith and morals. If the pope himself is the cause or partial-cause, and even, given his supreme authority, the ultimate cause of the grave and general spiritual necessity in which there is no hope of help from the lawful pastors, then what effect will recourse to the pope obtain in such circumstances? He will be physically accessible, but morally inaccessible. Recourse to him will be certainly physically possible but morally impossible, and if it be attempted, it will result naturally in the pope's saying "No" to the act which the extraordinary circumstances require "in order that adequate provision be made" (ST, op. cit. in Part 1) for the grave general necessity of souls."https://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/SiSiNoNo/1999_September/The_1988_Consecrations.htm
"The state of necessity in the case of Archbishop Lefebvre is precisely the case in which the lawmaker cannot impose the application of the law because it has become, by force of particular circumstances, contrary to the common good and to the divine natural and positive law. On his part, under the pressure of a precept of divine natural and positive law, “…the subject [e.g., Archbishop Lefebvre – Ed.] not only may, but he is bound not to observe the law, whether he asks or does not ask for permission to do so from the superior.”
Regarding seeking permissions from the superior, Suarez explains (speaking precisely of the pope) that here, “it is not a question of interpreting the will of the superior, but [a question] of his power” in order to know what is not necessary to ask the superior, because it is permitted to make use of “doctrinal rules” or “principles of theology and law,” given that “one knows with more certitude the power [of the superior] which is not free, rather than his will, which is free [emphasis added].” For that reason the subject, having prudently examined the circumstances and been informed by the “doctrinal rules” or by the “principles of theology and law” that is “beyond the power of legislator” to bind anyone to respect the law when it causes grave harm to so many souls, and that to obey in such a case would be “evil and a sin,” he may not - indeed, he must not - submit to the law or to the command“on his own authority,” “by his own judgment.” Hence, by his own initiative, he refuses submission “without recourse to the superior,” that is to say, without any dispensation or approval on the part of the said superior. The reason, writes Suarez, is: that in such a case the authority of the superior cannot have any effect; indeed, even if he were to will that the subject, after having had recourse to him, should observe the law, the latter would not be able to obey him because he must obey God rather than man and hence in such a case its is out of place (“impertinens
”) to ask for permission."https://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/SiSiNoNo/1999_September/The_1988_Consecrations.htm
Which is all another way of saying that in 1988, as Archbishop Lefebvre said, he hoped until the last minute that there might be a bit of loyalty shown by Rome, but to no avail. By 1991 at the time of the Bishop Rangel consecration, there was no point in asking permission any longer, since there was no doubt as to Rome's refusal (a refusal which nevertheless, was powerless to relieve the bishops of their grave duty to souls trapped in necessity). Therefore, it would be impertinent to ask permission for what must be done in any case.
Now, "what's good for the goose is good for the gander:"
If the passages above justified the SSPX in 1991, then it is incomprehensible how they do not justify Bishop Williamson in 2015.
For the SSPX to condemn the consecration of Bishop Faure, then, is to serve as a self-indictment.
And if the example of the 1991 consecration of Bishop Rangel must be admitted as a righteous deed (and it was), then this nugatory difference between the 1988 and 1991/2015 consecrations must be dismissed as lacking substance, which in turn leaves the 1988 and 2015 episcopal consecrations practically identical:
-They both featured practically the same Apostolic Mandate;
-They both based themselves on the state of necessity;
-They both explicitly announced the withholding of any apostolic mission (i.e., jurisdiction);
-And they both took place from a desire to provide for Tradition.