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Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
« Reply #75 on: March 16, 2019, 03:30:53 PM »
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  • #75: Contradiction (95%):

    On May 11, 2001 Bishop Fellay gave an interview to the Swiss newspaper La Liberté, in which the following exchange transpired:

    Bishop Fellay: "But some bishops rightly perceive in the freedom granted to the former Mass a questioning of the post-conciliar reforms."

    La Liberté: "Questioning that you continue to wish for?"

    Bishop Fellay: "This gives the impression that we reject everything about Vatican II. However, we keep 95% of it. It is more to a spirit that we are opposed to, to an attitude towards change as a postulate: everything changes in the world, so the Church must change.

    That interview, formerly available here, has (like so many others in this thread) been "memory-holed:"

    Fortunately, it is still available on Cathinfo, in both French and English, here:

    Was this the position of Archbishop Lefebvre?  Did he believe there were only a few problems with Vatican II, which were in any case limited more to a spirit of the Council, rather than the Council documents?

    To advance that notion would be completely ridiculous, in the face of a veritable litany of sermons and interviews, of which the following would be representative of Lefebvre's thought on Vatican II (and which runs directly contrary to Bishop Fellay's statement above):

    "Vatican II is profoundly wrong

    This fight between the Church and the liberals and modernism is the fight over Vatican II. It is as simple of that. And the consequences are far-reaching.

    The more one analyzes the documents of Vatican II, and the more one analyzes their interpretation by the authorities of the Church, the more one realizes that what is at stake is not merely superficial errors, a few mistakes, ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality, a certain Liberalism, but rather a wholesale perversion of the mind, a whole new philosophy based on modern philosophy, on subjectivism...So, they are no small errors. We are not dealing in trifles. We are into a line of philosophical thinking that goes back to Kant, Descartes, the whole line of modern philosophers who paved the way for the Revolution."

    [Obitur Dictum: For an interesting letter to Bishop Fellay regarding his 95% comment, see here for the response of Fr. Basilio Meramo to Bishop Fellay upon his expulsion:]

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #76 on: March 17, 2019, 08:22:30 AM »
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  • #76: Compromise (Hermeneutic of Continuity):

    In the summer of 2009, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais had just completed writing a 140 page masterpiece, analyzing the mind and thinking of Pope Benedict XVI titled Faith Imperiled by Reason (of which the entire document is attached below), which roundly exposed the Hegelian philosophical errors that had infected Benedict since his early days as a priest, and consequently how the "thesis + antithesis = synthesis" accounted for liberalism in theology.

    Perhaps the clearest example of this Hegelial "synthesizing" in action are Benedict XVI's plans for the Roman Missal.  Already in 2003, he had implied a future synthesis of the two rites in a letter to a German college professor:

    "I believe that in the long term the Roman Church must have a single Roman Rite...The Roman Rite of the future should be a single rite, celebrated in Latin or in vernacular, but standing completely in the tradition of the rite that has been handed down"

    By 2007, this mangled mind had already evolved, and begun synthesizing, as is clear in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, in which Benedict no longer perceives two distinct rites as he did in 2003, but rather, one right with two usages: An "ordinary" and an "extraordinary."

    Moreover, in the letter which accompanied Summorum Pontificum, the "synthesizing" continued, with Benedict XVI announcing he would like to see elements of the old usage "enriched" with elements of the new:

    "For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal.  The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard."

    It was necessary to provide this digression, in order that the reader clearly perceive the destructive force of "the traditional" Benedict XVI's corrupted intellect, because in what has become known as the "hermeneutic of continuity," Benedict XVI had proposed to apply this Hegelian hermeneutic of reconciling opposites to the entire conciliar and post-conciliar reform, which would effectively hide or mask the doctrinal deviations of the past 55-60 years, and through synthesis, demonstrate a perverted and false "continuity."

    Consequently, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais's book was a tremendous service to the Church, and a bulwark against the progression of conciliar corruption.  That being the case, one would have expected the SSPX to give it worldwide publicity, publish it in multiple languages, and shout its contents from the rooftops.

    But alas, this was 2009, in the era of ralliement, and that kind of publicity was reserved for books tending in the opposite direction (e.g., The book tours organized for Fr. Celier's "Benedict XVI and the Traditionalists" by the French District recounted in post #69).  With Benedict showing so much "tradition," how could the SSPX publish a book irrefutable demonstrating, exposing, and refuting his rank liberalism?  What would be the consequences for the ralliement?  Why, Pope Benedict might be led to believe that there was resistance within the SSPX to being "synthesized" into conciliar "conservatives!

    The result was death by silence.  So far as I am aware, the book was not actively suppressed, as in the case of Fr. Pivert's book (discussed in post #38 of this thread).  But with the savaging of Bishop Williamson in full swing at the time of its publication, taking action against yet another SSPX bishop may have seemed perhaps too vulgar and risky a display of power.  And what would happen if it induced Bishop Tissier to "team up" with Bishop Williamson?  That could set the ralliement back decades!  Best to just let Bishop Tissier do his writing, but give it no fanfare.  It was, after all, an intellectual work.  Few would read it.  There were no pictures.  Soon enough, it would fade from memory in all but a few staunch Lefebvrists, whom the Society desired to purge from its ranks and pews anyway.

    But it was less than three years later, after the failed (?) doctrinal discussions of 2009-2011, the SSPX had received a secret "doctrinal preamble" which, among several other odious provisions, asked the SSPX to consent to what was essentially the very same "hermeneutic of continuity" rejected by Bishop Tissier, and the SSPX as a whole in former times (For example, see this pre-2012 memory-holed article titled "Hermeneutic of the Hermeneutic of Continuity", originally available here:, but fortunately retained here:, which is well worth taking the time to read).

    That preamble (more commonly known as the April 15, 2012 Doctrinal Declaration) contained these provision:

    "The entire tradition of Catholic Faith must be the criterion and guide in understanding the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which, in turn, enlightens - in other words deepens and subsequently makes explicit -  certain aspects of the life and doctrine of the Church implicitly present within itself or not yet conceptually formulated.

    The affirmations of the Second Vatican Council and of the later Pontifical Magisterium relating to the relationship between the Church and the non-Catholic Christian confessions, as well as the social duty of religion and the right to religious liberty, whose formulation is with difficulty reconcilable with prior doctrinal affirmations from the Magisterium, must be understood in the light of the whole, uninterrupted Tradition, in a manner coherent with the truths previously taught by the Magisterium of the Church, without accepting any interpretation of these affirmations whatsoever that would expose Catholic doctrine to opposition or rupture with Tradition and with this Magisterium."

    And with a stroke of the pen, Bishop Fellay had accepted Benedict XVI's "hermeneutic of continuity."

    Subsequent protestations to the contrary are devoid of value, because actions speak louder than words.  

    Neither does it matter that, upon seeing the ensuing furor and division which had arisen within the ranks of the SSPX, Benedict rejected Bishop Fellay's signature, and presented him a counter-offer he knew the bishop must reject (i.e., so as to give Bishop Fellay the appearance of being the one doing the rejecting, and therefore still traditional, ,in order to preserve his authority: Rome did not want to lose its man at the forthcoming General Chapter a few months down the road, and endanger the planned ralliement).

    What matters is not that, by Rome's rejection, this Doctrinal Declaration and its "hermeneutic of continuity" failed to become official SSPX policy, but that as Fr. Cottier wrote upon the fall of Campos, "However, we must not be in a hurry. What is important is that in their hearts there no longer be rejection. Communion found again in the Church has an internal dynamism of its own that will mature."

    Bishop Fellays signature showed incontrovertibly that indeed, there had been a "maturation," and that there was no longer any "rejection."

    100 articles to the contrary will not be able to hide the act of his signature to the Doctrinal Declaration, because once again, actions speak louder than words.

    Obitur Dictum: Shortly after the 2009 publication of Bishop Tissier's Faith Imperiled by Reason, he published another slightly larger work on the same subject, but more focused on the Pope's theology, called The Strange Theology of Benedict XVI.  That book has not been translated into English, but a summary of it by Don Curzio Nitoglia can be machine translated here:

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #77 on: March 17, 2019, 09:25:40 PM »
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  • #77: Contradiction (The Danger of Schism):

    In April/2014, Fr. Michel Simoulin wrote an article titled Avoiding a False Spirit of Resistance.  It was more or less a collection of justifications for chasing after a practical accord, regardless of the state of modernist Rome.  One of the arguments adduced by Fr. Simoulin was an alleged danger of schism:

    "And now we must open our eyes to another danger, that is not hypothetical, but very real: that of no longer wishing to return to our legitimate place among the societies recognized by Rome, of losing the desire for the Church and for Rome. No longer desiring a normal relation with Rome and the Church is a shadow of the schismatic spirit."

    But Archbishop Lefebvre never expressed such worries.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  In an interview with Fideliter one year after the consecrations, Archbishop Lefebvre responded to a question on this very point:

    "4: Danger of schism?

    Question: Are you not afraid that in the end, when the good Lord will have called you to Him, little by little the split will grow wider and we will find ourselves being confronted with a parallel Church alongside what some call the "visible Church"?

    Archbishop Lefebvre: This talk about the "visible Church" on the part of Dom Gerard and Mr. Madiran is childish. It is incredible that anyone can talk of the "visible Church", meaning the Conciliar Church as opposed to the Catholic Church which we are trying to represent and continue. I am not saying that we are the Catholic Church. I have never said so. No one can reproach me with ever having wished to set myself up as pope. But, we truly represent the Catholic Church such as it was before, because we are continuing what it always did. It is we who have the notes of the visible Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. That is what makes the visible Church."

    Thus, for Fr. Simoulin, resistance can only continue for so long before becoming schismatic.  

    Fortunately for us, St. Athanasius and Archbishop Lefebvre did not agree.

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #78 on: March 18, 2019, 01:00:46 PM »
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  • #78: Compromise (Eroding Conditions - Part II: From 4 Bishops to 1?):

    In post #28, we saw that the SSPX 2012 General Chapter has produced a list of three allegedly absolutely essential conditions (and three merely "desirable" conditions, which means they were no conditions at all), to be fulfilled before executing a canonical agreement with unconverted Rome.  We saw that already by 2017, with the acceptance of the new "pastoral guidelines" regulating SSPX marriages, the second of the three "absolutely essential" conditions (i.e., Retaining current sacramental practice, including marriage) had been voluntarily sacrificed.  Subsequently, we saw in post #33 that the two remaining (allegedly) absolutely essential conditions had been replaced by a single new absolutely essential condition: To survive "as we are."

    So in the space of just a few short years, the Society had gone from complete freedom for integral Tradition, to a state of bartering for it on the basis of 6 conditions, which were really only three conditions, one of which was soon jettisoned to reduce the operative conditions to two, and which was eventually further whittled down to a solitary purely defensive condition to survive "as we are."

    The reader of this thread can decide for himself whether the SSPX has also surrendered this lone remaining condition as well.

    But returning to the original three 2012 "absolutely essential" conditions, it is disturbing to see the diplomatic weakness evident in what the SSPX was willing to concede in condition three:

    "3. The guarantee of at least one bishop."
    [Not surprisingly, the SSPX has also memory-holed yet another piece of evidence of compromise, as this page is no longer up:  However, the conditions are preserved here:]

    Stephen Fox, in his e-book "Is this Operation Suicide" comments on this concession:

    "Condition 3 (the guarantee of at least one bishop) means that the Society could be "reduced" to only one bishop and is concerning in view of the position of Rome that the position of the 'other 3 bishops' will be dealt with separately." (p. 14)

    In defense of this foolish condition/concession, the SSPX championed an article by Brian Mershon, in which he gives the SSPX rationale for this condition:

    "In 1988, Rome in practice did not act according to this commitment and gave the Archbishop reasonable grounds for concluding that the promise of a bishop had not been and would not in any reasonable time frame be met. All the Chapter does here is repeat the same requirement of Archbishop Lefebvre. They do not in any way suggest that their action would differ from his if, in fact, the Roman authorities of today repeated the behavior of those in 1988 (recognizing that one of them is the same person, the present Holy Father)."

    There are a number of problems with Mr. Mershon's defense, the biggest of which seems to be a loss of historical context surrounding the episcopal consecrations: Why does he think that after originally requesting a single bishop from Rome, the Archbishop ended up consecrating four?  The answer is because what caused him to consecrate against the Pope's "no" was because Rome's stalling tactics caused him to discern that Rome was not acting in good faith.  

    In other words, so long as the benefit of the doubt regarding Rome's intentions toward Tradition and the SSPX could be plausibly defended, the Archbishop could be satisfied with just one bishop: A Rome well-disposed toward Tradition could always give them another when needed.  But a Rome ill-disposed toward Tradition, which was simply waiting for him to die (and Tradition with it), called for another strategy altogether.  It called for "Operation Survival," whereby multiple consecrations would preserve the principle of continuity and perpetuity of Tradition.  

    So historical context provides the explanation (and necessity) of Archbishop Lefebvre's change in strategy, and the number of bishops he deemed necessary to preserve Tradition and the SSPX.

    Consequently, it stands to reason that, if Rome is still ill-disposed toward Tradition (as Bishop Fellay sometimes admits, in order to appear appease the troops and faithful: "Here we are then, at Easter 2013, and the situation in the Church remains almost unchanged.", then voluntarily consenting to be reduced to a single bishop on the basis of a pre-1988 Lefebvre who at the time of the 1987 Protocol was still willing to allow for the possibility of goodwill in Rome ("I hoped until the last minute that in Rome we would witness a little bit of loyalty.", is completely inadmissible.  

    Obitur Dictum: I can no longer find  the Fideliter #79 (January - February 1991) on  Can you?

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #79 on: March 18, 2019, 10:19:14 PM »
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  • #79: Compromise (En Route to the Vernacular Hybrid?):

    On February 24, 2014 Bishop Peter Elliott (Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne Australia) wrote of the following interesting "dialogue" with Bishop Fellay and some priests of the SSPX:

    "Let us be realistic. If you want the Extraordinary Form to become the Ordinary Form, reflect on the millions of people who come to vernacular Masses in our parishes around the world, in many countries and cultures. Would they easily embrace a Latin Low Mass with a server answering? And let us not forget the priests. This is why some pastoral realism is required. But let me put out a challenge - a reform of the Extraordinary Form would first be required - and I note that this has been suggested in terms of the Vatican Council’s “full, active and conscious participation.”

    We know would that reform would look like. We already have it at our fingertips. It would be a Latin dialogue Mass, said or sung ad orientem, with the readings in the vernacular. Then questions arise about some other changes set out in Sacrosanctum Concilium. In the context of the wider Church another issue inevitably emerges: could the Extraordinary Form be said or sung in the vernacular?

    Several years ago I was surprised to hear this proposed during dialogue over lunch with Bishop Fellay and Australian priests of the Society of St Pius X."

    Well, we know that Bishop Fellay was quite pleased with Summorum Pontificum, and that in both the letter to the bishops which accompanied the promulgation of the motu proprio, as well as in a later 2011 letter on the application of the motu proprio authorized by Benedict XVI, it is stated:

    25. New saints and certain of the new prefaces can and ought to be inserted into the 1962 Missal[9], according to provisions which will be indicated subsequently.

    26. As foreseen by article 6 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the readings of the Holy Mass of the Missal of 1962 can be proclaimed either solely in the Latin language, or in Latin followed by the vernacular or, in Low Masses, solely in the vernacular.

    27. With regard to the disciplinary norms connected to celebration, the ecclesiastical discipline contained in the Code of Canon Law of 1983 applies.

    What could be clearer?

    The apprehension anti-conciliarists entertain about a forthcoming hybrid Mass is anything BUT irrational conspiracy theory.

    It is a stated fact by the Holy Father!

    Now, if Bishop Fellay does not oppose such innovations as a vernacular TLM, then what is to impede Rome from implementing these foreseen norms and applying them to the SSPX?  

    All that is really necessary on Bishop Fellay's part is to be patient enough to condition minds to accept it, and those measures have been underway for quite some time:

    The inclusion of hymnal books in the pews and sermons encouraging congregational singing; the proliferation of dialogue Masses throughout the SSPX school systems; modifications regarding the postures of the faithful concordant with congregational singing; and even various experimental measures in the most liberal parishes (e.g., Sanford, FL), where the choir leader is positioned at the communion rail versus populum (thereby converting the entire congregation into a choir); the reading of the epistle and Gospel in the vernacular only in various parts of France; etc.

    All these emphases tend to reinforce a conciliar notion of "active participation," and once that attitude is inculcated, why, the vernacular is only natural.  After all, the people are not Latinists!

    All signs point toward a meeting of the minds of Benedict XVI/Francis and Bishop Fellay on this subject, which makes the advent of the hybrid as predictable as it is inevitable.

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #80 on: March 19, 2019, 08:13:54 PM »
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  • #80: Contradiction (Immoral Leak?):

    Shortly after the Letter of the Three Bishops and subsequently, the Response of the General Council were leaked to the internet, former US District Superior, Fr. Arnaud Rostand, went on the attack to denounce the immorality of airing private correspondences:

    "First of all, I want to denounce the immorality, as well as the revolutionary nature, of publishing such private documents. If it can be grave matter to read private letters, as moral theology teaches, it is even more serious to publish or distribute them without the permission of the authors. Furthermore, it is subversive to publish private discussions between superiors because it puts undue pressure on them. A superior must be able to make a decision in view of the common good and not because of any pressures.

    "Usually the defense of the Faith is invoked to justify such actions. It is, indeed, clear that the theological virtue of Faith is above the moral virtues but it cannot justify acting against them."

    As regards the sinfulness of leaking private correspondences is concerned, Fr. Rostand's denunciation implicitly acknowledges a superior's decisions must be made in view of the common good.  But we know from the Response of the General Council itself that Bishop Fellay explicitly acknowledged that in pursuing a practical accord, he was consciously acting against the common good of the SSPX:

    "We have not refused a priori to consider, as you ask, the Pope’s offer. For the common good of the Society, we would prefer by far the current solution of an intermediary status quo, but clearly, Rome is not going to tolerate it any longer."

    But surely Fr. Rostand is aware that nearly all approved moralists adduce as reasonable cause for the revelation of secrets (i.e., confidential information) "the urgent necessity of either the public or private good." (Prummer, Fr. Dominic.  Handbook of Moral Theology, #295).  With Bishop Fellay announcing his intention to make a decision against the common good of the public good of the SSPX, there can be no doubt that this criterion was satisfied.

    Moreover, as regards reading private letters in particular, Prummer states that, "It is grievously sinful to read the secret letters of writings of another without the consent of another...without just cause." (Ibid. #296)

    Obviously, the common good meets the "just cause" threshold.

    However, not long after Fr. Rostand's denunciation, Fr. Wailliez (Belgian District Superior) was hacking into the email account of Fr. Olivier Rioult, and having successfully accomplished his task, pretended to be Fr. Nicklaus Pinaud, in order to gain information by which to thwart the budding French speaking Resistance.  That whole story can be read here:!-the-neo-sspx-from-persecution-to-identity-theft/

    Can Fr. Walliez avail himself of the same cause excusing from sin as whomever leaked the Letter of the Three Bishops and the Response of the General Council (i.e., Can they lay claim to the common good of the SSPX)?

    Obviously not: Bishop Fellay acknowledged his decision to sign an accord with unconverted Rome was a decision against the common good of the SSPX.  Fr. Wailliez's actions of theft and deceit were taken in the support and furtherance of Bishop Fellay's desire to pursue a canonical "regularization" with unconverted Rome, and his activities had the effect of diminishing the effectiveness of those priests who were still fighting for the common good of the SSPX against the revolutionary new direction of its major superiors.

    And even if, somehow, one wanted to argue that point, they will not be able to defend the manifest sinfulness of the lies represented by holding yourself out as another priest in order to obtain information.

    It would seem that for the SSPX in pursuit of an accord, the ends justify the means:  A virtuous and moral act is denounced as sinful, but on the other hand, a manifestly sinful act aroused no ire ad infra.

    Obitur Dictum: Detraction is the sin of revealing the secret sins of another.  The sins of Fr. Wailliez do not fall within the domain of "secret," insofar as they have been public for 6 years, and published by others all over the world, and particularly to SSPX and Resistance audiences.

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #81 on: March 19, 2019, 11:00:00 PM »
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  • #81: Change (School Scandals):

    If "opening the windows" to the modern world at Vatican II was the cause of the infiltration of moral degeneracy into the conciliar church, then it stands to reason that an SSPX opening its own "windows" to the conciliar church (and therefore the world) would suffer the same fate.

    But this is precisely what is happening, as Bishop Williamson observed in Eleison Comments #260:

    "The parallels between Vatican II and the recent happenings within the Society of St Pius X are so striking that these happenings could be called Vatican IIB. It stands to reason. Exactly the same seduction and pressure of the modern world that made the mainstream churchmen collapse in the 1960’s have swayed a number of SSPX members in the 2000’s, bringing the SSPX to near collapse."

    But what is the connection between worldliness and sodomy(*), you ask?

    The Apostole gives us the answer in the second half of Romans 1:21-30:

    "Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents."

    The Apostle teaches us that the punishment for idolatry (and worldliness is a form of idolatry which worships creation and creature more than the creator) is unnatural vice and viciousness.  

    Had there been only one school scandal, the relationship between the ever-more conciliar and worldly SSPX and the scandal would not have been made.

    But when a single school has multiple scandals of this type, one starts to inquire into the causes.

    Then, when a second and a third school (each in another affluent country) erupt with their own moral scandals (in those cases, consenting to immoral school policies, seemingly in return for financial aid), and all three schools' issues transpiring within a couple years of each other, I begin to see the cause (i.e., Money, affluent families, worldliness).

    Finally, when I think back to the SSPX of the 1970's and 1980's (i.e., the combat troops, setting up schools in basements), and note the absence of any such scandals, I become convinced I have properly assigned the cause.

    The Society has become worldly.  

    Many have noted the increase in fundraising activities, branding companies, public relations firms, and the "need" to have bigger and better everything without real necessity (of which the greatest example is the new seminary in Virginia).

    The recent picture of the US District office women all in pants is symbolic of this worldliness.

    So long as it persists (and it will persist so long as the Society is hell-bent on finding a livable situation in the pluralist and worldly conciliar church), the schools and families will continue to degenerate.  

    (*) Obitur Dictum: I have been deliberately vague regarding the details of the various moral scandals, for the sake of the pious.  Those who wish to inquire further can find more information on various Cathinfo threads using the search function.

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #82 on: Yesterday at 12:22:15 AM »
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  • #82: Contradiction (+Lefebvre vs +Fellay/Pagliarani on "Dialogue"):

    On May 17, 2016 Pope Francis made this comment in an interview with La Croix regarding Bishop Fellay's willingness to "dialogue:"

    "Bishop Fellay is a man with whom one can dialogue. That is not the case for other elements who are a little strange, such as Bishop Williamson or others who have been radicalized. Leaving this aside, I believe, as I said in Argentina, that they are Catholics on the way to full communion."

    What about Archbishop Lefebvre?

    Was he one with whom the conciliarists could dialogue?

    Here he is, answering in his own words:

    "The adulterous union of the Church and the Revolution is cemented by "dialogue." Our Lord said "Go, teach all nations and convert them." He did not say "Hold dialogue with them but don't try to convert them." Truth and error are incompatible; to dialogue with error is to put God and the devil on the same footing. This is what the Popes have always repeated and what was easy for Christians to understand because it is also a matter of common sense. In order to impose different attitudes and reactions it was necessary to do some indoctrinating so as to make modernists of the clergy needed to spread the new doctrine. This is what is called "recycling," a conditioning process intended to refashion the very faculty God gave man to direct his judgment...Two typical attitudes can be discerned, while allowing for the possibility of intermediate ones.  The first means accepting a number of novelties one by one as they are imposed. This is the case with many Christians, many Catholics: they give in little by little."

    Do you see the great chasm which divides Bishop Fellay from Archbishop Lefebvre?

    When Bishop Fellay speaks to Rome, it is merely GREC dialogue(*): Getting used to each other, in order to get a good deal.  Nothing about Rome needing to return to Tradition.

    Archbishop Lefebvre was the exact opposite, and his contacts had the object of bringing Rome back to Tradition (a principle which found itself codified in the 2006 General Chapter Declaration):

    "Likewise, the contacts made from time to time with the authorities in Rome have no other purpose than to help them embrace once again that Tradition which the Church cannot repudiate without losing her identity. The purpose is not just to benefit the Society, nor to arrive at some merely practical impossible agreement."

    (*) It would appear Fr. Pagliarani is cut from the same cloth as Bishop Fellay: In November, he went with Fr. Emmanuel du Chalard (one of the original SSPX GREC participants and sponsors, whom we also mentioned in posts #58 and 67) to meet with Cardinal Ladaria.  A couple months later, Fr. Pagliarani told the world that since Rome was insisting on a signed doctrinal statement as a condition for "regularization," whereas the previous doctrinal discussions/negotiations had ended in an impasse (at least from the doctrinal perspective), it showed we needed another round of negotiations, er, discussions, and this time it would not be necessary for the SSPX to convince its interlocutors.

    In other words, Fr. Pagliarani is going to Rome to dialogue and negotiate the Faith; to "find the right words."  

    It will be another gigantic step for the Society into conciliarism, while Rome stays firmly planted in their errors.

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #83 on: Yesterday at 08:54:24 AM »
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  • #83: Contradiction (Bishop Fellay on Campos):

    In Bishop Fellay's 1/6/2003 Superior General's Letter to Friends & Benefactors #63 regarding the fall of Campos, he makes a number of observations which bear a striking resemblance to the changes and evolution which has been taking place in the SSPX over the last 7-10 years.  We quote some of these observations, and if the reader mentally replaces the word "Campos" with "SSPX," he will see that in many respects Bishop Fellay seems to have fallen under his own knife when he observed that:

    "In the eyes of Rome, the Campos-Rome agreement was merely meant to be the prelude to our own “regularization” in the Society of Saint Pius X, but in our eyes what is happening to our former friends should rather serve as a lesson to us."

    Let us provide some of these applicable observations, and comment upon them:

    1) "Alas, our fears roused by the Campos agreement have proved to be well-founded, and the evolution we observe of the Campos Apostolic Administration, contrary to Roman expectations, leaves us distrustful."

    Today, despite Bishop Fellay's fears having proved to be well-founded, there is no longer distrust.  It is as though Rome had converted, and there is no reason to fear.  In Bishop Fellay's Australia conference cited earlier in this thread (see post #3), he clearly states his belief that, despite Rome's ever-worsening apostasy, "it is not a trap."  Apparently putting sheep and wolves together in the same barn presents no danger to the sheep.

    2) "However, it is clear that the principle governing today’s Rome is still to put the Council into practice as has been done for the last 40 years.  Neither official documents nor general policy show any fundamental re-thinking of this principle. On the contrary, we are always being told that what the Council set in motion is irreversible, which leads us to ask why there has been a change of attitude with regard to ourselves. Various explanations are possible, but it is primarily because of the pluralist and ecumenical vision of things now prevailing in the Catholic world. According to this vision, everybody is to mix together without anybody needing any longer to convert, as Cardinal Kasper said in connection with the Orthodox and even the Jews."

    Good point, Your Excellency!

    On the one hand, Rome has continuously declared this as their stated intention to Bishop Fellay ever since 2001 on numerous occasions (e.g., See Stephen Fox's Is This Operation Suicide? pp, 39; 42: or for examples from 2012. 

    More recently, see here for a reaffirmation of same in 2017:

    We think this article from the liberal periodical Commonweal has a better grasp upon Rome's perspective than the SSPX's accordist apologists, regardless of what an Archbishop Pozzo or Schneider may occasionally say to the contrary:

    3) "From such a standpoint there will even be a little room for Catholic Tradition, but for our part we cannot accept this vision of variable truth any more than a mathematics teacher can accept a variable multiplication table.
    The day will come, we are sure and certain, when Rome will come back to Rome’s own Tradition and restore it to its rightful place, and we long with all our hearts for that blessed day. For the time being, however, things are not yet at that point, and to foster illusions would be deadly for the SSPX, as we can see, when we follow the turn of events in Campos."

    But Your Excellency, how did this "vision of variable truth" become acceptable by 2012?  

    How did it become acceptable to strike a deal with a Rome determined to bring you back to the Council?  

    Do you renounce your condemnation of Campos, or do you maintain that, despite a Prelature offering no protection from the modernist bishops, somehow immersion in the modernist millieu will have no impact upon you (a belief this entire thread proves to be untenable)?

    4) "For this purpose, let us emphasize two points in the evolution of the Campos SSPX situation: firstly, how their attitude to Rome has changed since the agreement branding campaign and secondly, how Campos SSPX is moving further and further away from ourselves Archbishop Lefebvre, with all the upset that that implies.

    Changes in Campos SSPX

    Campos Menzingen through its leader, Bishop Rifan Fellay, is crying out for all to hear that nothing has changed, that the priests of the Apostolic Administration Society are just as Traditional as before, which is the essence of what they have been granted, and why they accepted Rome’s offer: because Rome approved of the Traditional position."

    5) "For our part, let us begin by noting that we are well aware that in any disagreement one tends to discredit one’s adversary. For instance in the case of our former friends in Campos, there are certainly false rumors circulating to the effect that “Bishop Rifan has concelebrated the New Mass.

    No, Your Excellency, the fact of Bishop Rifan's concelebration of the new Mass is captured on video:

    6) "The ambiguity implicit here has become more or less normal in the new situation in which they find themselves: they emphasize those points in the present pontificate which seem favourable to Tradition, and tip-toe past the rest. Say what we will: there took place in Campos on January 18, 2002, not only a one-sided recognition of Campos by Rome, as some claim, but also, in exchange, an undertaking by Campos to keep quiet. And how could it be otherwise? It is clear by now that Campos has something to lose which they are afraid or losing, and so in order not to lose it they have chosen the path of compromise: “We Brazilians are men of peace, you Frenchmen are always fighting”. Which means that, in order to keep the peace with Rome, one must stop fighting. They no longer see the situation of the Church as a whole, they content themselves with Rome’s gesture in favour of a little group of two dozen priests and say that there is no longer any emergency in the Church because the granting of a Traditional bishop has created a new juridical situation…They are forgetting the wood for a single tree."

    But Your Excellency, you instituted a branding campaign which follows the same path!

    (See post #26 of this thread on the branding campaign; See post #68 for the state of necessity allegedly receding)

    7) "Within this way of thinking even the Novus Ordo Mass can be accommodated. Campos forgets the 62 reasons for having nothing to do with it, Campos now finds that if it is properly celebrated, it is valid (which we have never denied, but that is not the point). Campos no longer says that Catholics must stay away because the New Mass is bad, and dangerous. Bishop Rifan says, by way of justifying his position on the Mass: “So we reject all use of the Traditional Mass as a battle-flag to insult and fight the lawfully constituted hierarchical authority of the Church. We stay with the Traditional Mass, not out of any spirit of contradiction, but as a clear and lawful expression of our Catholic Faith!”. We are reminded of the words of a Cardinal a little while back: “Whereas the SSPX is FOR the old Mass, the Fraternity of Saint Peter Is AGAINST the New Mass. It’s not the same thing”. That was Rome’s argument to justify taking action against Fr. Bisig of the Fraternity of Saint Peter at about the same time that Rome was cozying up to the SSPX. The Cardinal’s curious distinction is now being put into practice by Campos, as they pretend to be for the old Mass but not against the new. Likewise for Tradition, but not against today’s Rome."

    But Your Excellency, in the April 15, 2012 doctrinal declaration, you agreed (by your signature) with the following proposition:

    "We declare that we recognise the validity of the sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments celebrated with the intention to do what the Church does according to the rites indicated in the typical editions of the Roman Missal and the Sacramentary Rituals legitimately promulgated by Popes Paul VI and John-Paul II."

    But previously, the SSPX taught that the Mass of Paul VI was not legitimately promulgated:

    "A law is legitimate only when it is duly promulgated by the lawfully constituted authority. But to this condition must be added another of supreme importance and essential to make it a law: it must be for the common good. And precisely on this score, the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) is most defective as was attested at the time of its promulgation by no less than by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci."

    Is not the Society also therefore seeking to make an accomodation with the new Mass?  

    Your Excellency's comment to Cardinal Canizaeres that had Archbishop Lefebvre seen the reverent Novus Ordo Mass Your Excellency witnessed, he never would have taken the step that he did" certainly implies that to you, the new Mass has become less odious (See post #35 of this thread; see also post #1, where a classic SSPX prayer book has excised attendance at the new Mass from its examination of conscience for confessions, implying there is no moral objection to attending it)

    8. "We maintain that Vatican II cannot contradict Catholic Tradition”, said Bishop Rifan quite recently to a French magazine, Famille Chrétienne. Yet a well-known Cardinal said that Vatican II was the French Revolution inside the Church. Bishop de Castro Mayer said the same thing…."

    But Your Excellency, you also implied Vatican II was compatible with Tradition in your CNS interview (See post #9 of this thread).

    9) "So little by little the will to fight grows weaker and finally one gets used to the situation. In Campos itself, everything positively traditional is being maintained, for sure, so the people see nothing different, except that the more perceptive amongst them notice the priests’ tendency to speak respectfully and more often of recent statements and events coming out of Rome, while yesterday’s warnings and today’s deviations are left out."

    But Your Excellency, do we not notice the same thing with your branding campaign's central tenet being to be more "positive," and less polemic?  Or in your forwarding of Archbishop di Noia's letter to all SSPX priests requesting them to cease preaching against Roman modernism and Vatican II (See post #31)?

    10) "The great danger here is that in the end one gets used to the situation as it is, and no longer tries to remedy it. For our part we have no intention of launching out until we are certain that Rome means to maintain Tradition. We need signs that they have converted."

    But Your Excellency, do we not see in the overturning of the 2006 general Chapter declaration a coming to terms with the situation in Rome, and in the willingness to strike a practical accord with unconverted Rome, a disregard for the conversion of Rome?  What signs have you received that they have converted?  Certainly not the equivocal concessions of 2007 and 2009, or the failed doctrinal discussions (in which Bishop de Galarreta acknowledged they would hear nothing of your arguments)!

    11) "Besides this wholly foreseeable evolution of minds by which the Campos SSPX priests have, whatever they say, given up the fight, we must note another occurrence, the increasing hostility between us. Bishop Rifan still says that he wants to be our friend, but some Campos SSPX priests are already accusing us of being schismatic because we refuse their agreement with Rome."

    But Your Excellency, is this not precisely your attitude toward the Resistance?  Is it not openly stated in the approved writings of Fr. Michel Simoulin and others?

    12) "A little like one sees a boat pushing into mid-river, drifting down-stream and leaving the bank behind, so we see, little by little, several indications of the distance growing between ourselves and Campos Menzingen. We had warned them of the great danger, they chose not to listen. Since they have no wish to row up-stream, then even while inside the boat things carry on as before, which gives them the impression that nothing has changed, nevertheless they are leaving us behind, as they show themselves more and more attached to the magisterium of today, as opposed to the position they held until recently and which we still hold, namely a sane criticism of the present in the light of the past."

    Ah, but Your Excellency, do you not also show the same attachment towards the "magisterium of today," for example, by your refusal to distinguish between the conciliar and Catholic Churches?  (See posts #11 and 25)

    13) "To sum up, we are bound to say that the Campos SSPX priests, despite their claims to the contrary, are slowly being re-molded, following the lead of their new bishop, in the spirit of the Council. That is all Rome wants – for the moment."

    This thread makes it undeniable that the same process has been taking place in the SSPX for several years.

    14) "To guarantee our future, we must obtain from today’s Rome clear proof of its attachment to the Rome of yesterday. When the Roman authorities have restated with actions speaking louder than words that “There must be no innovations outside of Tradition”, then “we” shall no longer be a problem."

    Had Your Excellency held firm and true to this position, we would not today be witnessing the dissolution of the SSPX into conciliarism.

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #84 on: Yesterday at 11:17:54 AM »
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  • #84: Compromise (Silence on Assisi III...or IV):

    In 2011, the "traditional pope" convened the third(*) blasphemous gathering at Assisi, and the SSPX had not much to say about it, initially.

    This was already the era of the ralliement, with the SSPX soon to gather in Albano, Italy to consider the Pope's offer for a practical accord (an offer Bishop Fellay would later accept).  Obviously, a denunciation of modernist Rome could have implications on the negotiation process, and consequently, Menzingen was silent on the ecumenical blasphemy about to transpire.

    But the French District Superior, Fr. Regis de Cacqueray, was indignant about the matter, and published a strident denunciation of the affair.

    The matter was a source of embarrassment for Bishop Fellay, who was quite upset about it, because not only did such a letter threaten to upset SSPX-Roman relations, but the letter, having come from a District Superior, and not from the general House, tended to highlight the new policy of silence on Roman deviations in pursuit of an accord, whereas the SSPX wanted to maintain the illusion of continuing the combat.

    The tale is recounted thusly in the anonymous Open Letter to Bishop Fellay from 37 French Priests:

    "At the end of the priestly retreat, two colleagues accused me of being in revolt against your authority, because I showed satisfaction with the text of Fr. de Cacqueray against Assisi III. What do you think?” Your [Bishop Fellay] answer was: “I wasn’t aware of such things happening within the Society! It was I who asked for this declaration. Moreover, it was published with my permission! I completely agree with Fr. de Cacqueray!"

    Yet, during the Sisters’ retreat at Ruffec, you confided to six priests that you did not agree with the text of Fr. de Cacqueray! Moreover, for 20 minutes, you complained to him about the criticism you had received, from Cardinal Levada, about that subject. If you gave him the permission to publish it, then it was, you explained, so as not to appear biased, but, personally, you disapproved of the contents which you judged to be excessive. Your Excellency, who therefore is using “fundamentally subversive” means? Who is it that is revolutionary? Who is it that does harm to the common good of our Society [of St. Pius X]?"

    Though some may initially object to this information, given the anonymity of the author(s), the story is substantially corroborated by the Avrille Dominicans in their Letter n° 87 (May 13, 2014):

    "When Fr. de Cacqueray wrote an excellent text against Assisi IV (*), Cardinal Levada told Bishop Fellay that it was unacceptable, and the result was that the General House then remained silent and did not put out a single communiqué to protest against this scandalous meeting."

    Fr. Francois Chazal's article "War Aims" also corroborates the account given in the Letter of 37 French Priests:

    "When he got finished I then asked candidly: “If you [Bishop Fellay] are indeed truly against Vatican II, why were you, my Lordship, so silent about Assisi III(*)?” Referring to one phrase pronounced in St Nicolas du Chardonnet, he said that he made his all the condemnations of the Archbishop about Assisi. That sounded awkward and Fr. Nely rushed to the rescue, explaining how bad Assisi III(*) really was. Not getting it, I reminded his Lordship of his resolute NO, when I was with him in Cebu, to my request for a strong and public stance against Assisi III(*). (He said the same to the Pfeiffer brothers at the time)."

    Though I cannot find any online copies of the original condemnation of Fr. de Cacqueray, I seem to recall that it did not contain the explicit endorsement of Bishop Fellay within its text, and that this only appeared shortly thereafter, in a second published version, to give the illusion of Bishop Fellay's initial and continuous support of Fr. de Cacqueray's letter, which can be found here (*):

    The reader may, therefore, dismiss that recollection from the conversation.  It does not injure the salient point, corroborated by the citations included above, which is this:

    That in order to protect relations with Rome, Bishop Fellay was reluctant to endorse Fr. de Cacqueray's letter, and/or condemn Assisi.

    Subsequent affirmations in later years from Bishop Fellay and the SSPX that they will continue to maintain the combat for the faith against Roman modernism and the errors of Vatican II should be evaluated with accounts such as this in mind.

    (*): It is not clear to me why the 2014 Dominican article refers to Assisi IV, while the SSPX article, Fr. Chazal, and several other sites refer to Assisi III.  So far as I can tell, by 2014 there had in fact been 4 Assisi prayer meetings: 1986, 1993, 2002, and 2011 (with this last being the one under consideration here), which would make the Dominican account correct.  Is the 2nd Assisi meeting in 1993 commonly forgotten?  Or is it not included for some reason?  In any case, all accounts contained within this post are discussing the same Assisi meeting in 2011 (i.e., Cardinal Levada had not yet been elevated to the Cardinalate at the time of the 2002 meeting; he was elevated in 2006).

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #85 on: Yesterday at 02:29:44 PM »
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  • #85: Change (Divine Mercy Devotion Making Further Inroads):

    In post #1 of this thread, we recounted how the SSPX devotional staple "Christian Warfare" had excised from the examination of conscience section in newer editions the consideration of whether or not the penitent had "attended and actively participated in the new Mass" which had been present on p. 289 of the 2006 edition.

    And in post #51, we noted that books promoting the Divine Mercy Devotion were being sold by the SSPX German District publishing house, and that oassages from Sr. Kowalska's "Diary" were being posted on the Polish District Facebook page (yes, they have a Facebook page), while the St. Mary's newsletter of 12/7/14 refers to "Saint" Faustina.

    Now, I am informed by a Cathinfo member ("KlasG4e") that:

    "I noticed that in my 2009 Christian Warfare "New Deluxe Edition" in Chapter IV (Devotion to the Sacred Heart) on p. 122 one finds printed out the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!"

    See the attachments section (below) for photographic evidence of the offending page.

    As we will soon see, this is not the first time SSPX publishing houses have tried to sneak these conciliar changes into their books!

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    Re: Catalog of Compromise, Change, and Contradiction in the SSPX
    « Reply #86 on: Yesterday at 10:15:24 PM »
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  • #86: Contradiction (More Sneaky Books: SSPX Moving Toward Conciliar Ecclesiology):

    [NB: I really have nothing to add to Sean Johnson's article, except to reemphasize that the only revisions which seem have taken place in the Michael Davies reprint are all of a nature bringing his former work into line with conciliar ecclesiology.  If then the SSPX is publishing and promoting such a book, it stands to reason that the SSPX has moved doctrinally in the direction of the former Ecclesia Dei communities (who accept the new ecclesiology).]

    More Evidence of Convergence Between the SSPX and Ecclesia Dei Communities:

    The 2007 Angelus Press Revised/Expanded Edition of Michael Davies’ “Pope John’s Council”


    Sean Johnson


    This September will see the 10 year anniversary of the death of Michael Davies.

    A strong supporter of Archbishop Lefebvre until the time of the 1988 episcopal consecrations, he then opted to side with the indultarian Una Voce movement (becoming its President in 1992).

    Having traded the battle for integral Catholic doctrine in preference for the permission to attend the 1962 Mass, he significantly toned down his rhetoric, lest his movement be seen to criticize the modernists, and jeopardize the indult.

    Among other things, he is remembered for his famous saying, "It is the Mass that matters."

    Indeed, this saying could be the motto for every indult group in the Church, since it is the only thing their false obedience has been able to retain (and even in that respect, it is only to be considered a preference; a rite on equal footing with the Novus Ordo).

    So, it was only natural that Michael Davies and the SSPX should drift apart.

    Whether he was conscious of it or not, Michael Davies was only given his “table scraps” because the Romans perceived that others like him (i.e., battle weary, or scrupulous, or compromised Catholics) could be drawn away from the SSPX with the lure of an approved Traditional Latin Mass.

    So pitched were the differences between the SSPX and various indult/Ecclesia Dei organizations, that they would not even march in the same direction at the annual Chartres (France) Pilgrimage for Tradition, nor would they travel the same route: Leaders would meet in advance of the opposed pilgrimages to ensure the two did not intersect!

    This was symbolic of the completely opposite ends which the two groups had in mind: Securing the Mass, on the one hand, vs. securing the entire Faith, on the other.

    But those were the good old days.

    Recent years have seen mounting evidence of a convergence of aims and ends between the SSPX and the various indult groups in ways which would have been impossible under Archbishop Lefebvre: The notice appearing on the SSPX Polish District website congratulating the Ecclesia Dei communities' recent 2013 ordinations; the January 2014 letter from Menzingen in which Fr. Pivert's book is condemned, with Menzingen offering strident defenses of the indult communities; the ‘trad-cumenical’ initiatives in which The Remnant participates at The Angelus conferences; etc).

    But I would like to discuss one which flew under the radar: The 2007 Angelus Press reprint of the revised/expanded "Pope John's Council" by Michael Davies.

    Having just illustrated the divergence of opinion between Michael Davies and the SSPX since the 1988 episcopal consecrations (and the dumbing-down of the subject matter of Davies' later books, which must always follow upon a regularization), it is a pleasant mythology spread amongst SSPXers that, towards the end of his life, Michael Davies "came back" to the SSPX, and again collaborated with them, having realized the limited and short-sighted nature of his indult position.

    However, it is the purpose of this brief article to demonstrate that in fact, it is the opposite which is true:

    That with the commencement in 2007 of the branding campaign (designed to cease-fire against modernism and the modernists in Rome, for the purposes of securing a Roman approval of the SSPX), the SSPX moved closer to Michael Davies' indult position, rather than the other way around.

    Observe that in 2001, the SSPX was condemning Dominus Iesus thusly:

    "As a result, the document does not wish to repeat, firmly and univocally, that there is only one way of salvation, i.e., that established by Christ in His Church. Instead it gives us to understand, through its equivocations, that we must admit that "historical figures and positive elements of these [other] religions may fall within the divine plan of salvation," and that, according to Vatican II, the false religions can be seen to exercise "a manifold cooperation" and even a "participated mediation" in the one mediatorship of Christ. There is one reservation, however: these "participated forms of mediation...cannot be understood as parallel or complementary to his." In fact, the concept of parallel [equal] complementarity is very different from that of participated [subordinate] mediation.

    This concept of participated, subordinate mediation has always been intrinsic to the Catholic religion. What is new in the Declaration, and what is unheard-of in the Catholic religion, is that this participated mediation is now no longer reserved to the Most Blessed Virgin, the Saints and the members of the Mystical Body, but extended to all the false religions (the sects and the pagan religions). This is in harmony with the "new theology," which no longer understands the Mystical Body to be coextensive with the visible Church (plus the individual exceptions in the case of souls united to the Church "in voto," by implicit and explicit desire), but broadens and expands Christ's Mystical Body to embrace all humanity with all its false religious beliefs.

    The fundamental concept of ecumenism can be reduced to this: "All religions are orientated to salvation, which is one, and is of Christ. These religions are ranked according to each one's degree of participation in the fullness of truth and salvation which is found in its highest degree in Christ and his Church." This is the basis supporting the superstructure of the Declaration Dominus Jesus, and we cannot see in what way it differs from the thesis of Modernism, namely, that God reveals Himself "in the life of all the religions, individually and collectively, but most of all in the life of Christianity" (George Tyrrell, Per la sincerità in Rinnovamento [For Sincerity in the Renewal] July-Aug. 1907."

    That was the SSPX in 2001 (i.e., Well before the branding campaign was commenced, and at a time when the plan to "proceed by stages" towards a “reconciliation" was in its infancy).

    But in 2007, the Angelus announced that, with the new incoming editor, a new editorial policy would feature a "more positive" and less critical approach.

    That same year, Angelus Press released Michael Davies revised edition of "Pope John's Council", which contained an heretical notion of apostolicity, with Davies claiming that -in accord with Dominus Iesus- the Orthodox churches were "authentic local churches," and that the Orthodox possess formal apostolicity. (p. 97)

    The book also contains an Appendix titled "The Declaration Dominus Iesus Regarding the Term Subsistit" (p. 403-408), in which Davies (and the SSPX's) confusion reaches new heights, going so far as to exclaim, "Some traditional Catholics have questioned the possibility as to how there can be true churches not in communion with the Pope...", as though it were we who are confused!

    Now to be clear, Orthodox bishops possess mere material apostolicity (i.e., episcopal continuity), but not formal apostolicity (which in addition to episcopal continuity, adds jurisdiction).  See the Catholic Encyclopedia here:  

    Since Orthodox bishops possess mere material apostolicity, it necessarily follows their local churches are not to be regarded as authentic churches (i.e., Since their bishops, lacking formal apostolicity, lack jurisdiction).

    At this point, a number of questions arise:

    1) To publish such a book, which defends an heretical proposition regarding apostolicity, and promotes an ecumenically inspired Dominus Iesus perfectly in line with Vatican II's Lumen Gentium, the SSPX has walked back on its 2001 condemnation (cited earlier). Why?

    2) It seems it was not Michael Davies revising his book to approach the SSPX position outlined in their condemnation of 2001, but rather, the SSPX publishing a book in 2007 which contradicts its former condemnation of Dominus Iesus in 2001, to promote Davies' ecumenical position. Why?

    3) Interestingly enough, I perceived this error back in 2007 when I purchased the book, and contacted The Angelus to make them aware of the error on apostolicity. I was told by the editor that it had been reviewed by three SSPX priests before it went to press (i.e., the implication being that I was wrong). I pressed the issue, and finally received an acknowledgement from a District official that conceded the point, and told me that, minimally, a notice of "errata" would be inserted in future shipments. Has this been done? Or, have they expunged the ecumenical content from Davies revised volume (in which case there would be little point of publishing a revision at all!)? (NB: Luker –a personage on Archbishoplefebvreforums- confirms that a sticker has been superimposed on subsequent volumes, but that the only change the overlay makes is to remove the word "formal" from apostolic succession. Hence, an heretical statement has been "improved" to one merely ambiguous. Small consolation.  Meanwhile, the entire ecumenical sense of this portion of the book is consistent with Dominus Iesus and Lumen Gentium)

    4) Regardless of who moved towards who, can anyone explain why the SSPX would publish a book promoting ecumenical ecclesiology (i.e., Dominus Iesus, and by extension, Lumen Gentium)?

    My conclusion is this:

    The publication of this revised Michael Davies work was one of the first attempts by the branded SSPX at incrementally "shifting" the SSPX audience towards looking favorably upon recent magisterial documents;

    It was useful for building the bridge between SSPXers, Romans, and indultarians.

    The only other alternative is to believe that the SSPX has suddenly become doctrinally incompetent, and is oblivious to publishing errors, which is not likely.

    In any case, it shows that Michael Davies definitely did not come back to a traditional SSPX perspective (as though Archbishop Lefebvre would have accepted Dominus Iesus any more than Bishop Fellay did in 2001), but instead, that the SSPX moved towards Michael Davies' indult position.

    More disturbing than this, is the fact that in the larger picture (in light of the other examples cited above, which is far from exhaustive), it evinces an SSPX embarked upon a trajectory of convergence with the indult communities.

    Once that convergence is completed, via slow boil, will there really be any need to negotiate a practical accord?

    Indeed, as the Dominicans at Avrillé recently wrote, the terrain is already prepared for a recognition of tolerance “ad tempus” (in which no written accord will be necessary).

    But at what price?

    When the day comes that you see the indultarian and SSPX Chartres Pilgrimages for Tradition marching in the same direction, understand that there is much more symbolism there than meets the eye.


    In view of the eminence and reputation of Michael Davies, many readers of this article may be reluctant to accept that so gifted a man erred in so obvious and fundamental a doctrine as that on the Church's teaching regarding apostolicity.

    The first error of Mr. Davies is that he overlooked (or ignored) the distinction between material vs formal apostolicity (even though, interestingly enough, he uses the term "formal apostolic succession" in an erroneous sense at the bottom of p. 97).

    As recounted above, "material apostolicity" is mere episcopal continuity (i.e., episcopal lineage traceable down to the Apostles), whereas "formal apostolicity" adds to mere material apostolicity the power of jurisdiction, which comes from the Pope.

    Since a schismatic "church" cannot possess jurisdiction (other than a supplied jurisdiction acquired through necessity), and therefore cannot possess formal apostolicity, it necessarily follows that schismatic churches can never be considered authentic or true local churches.

    But Michael Davies says otherwise:

    On p. 98, he cites in support of his contention that the schismatic Orthodox possess formal apostolicity the Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius IX, Arcano Divinae Providentiae (1868), in which he observes that the great Pontiff "invited the bishops of the churches of the Oriental Rite not in communion with Rome to be present at the First Vatican Council on an equal basis with the bishops of the Latin Rite in communion with Rome."

    Now it is telling that this citation (obviously meant to justify Dominus Iesus, which follows as a separate appendix at the end of the book on pp 403-408) is entirely absent from the original 1970s version of "Pope John's Council."

    But what is missed by Davies is that the Apostolic Letter is not an invitation to participate in Vatican I as schismatics, but an invitation to rejoin the Mystical Body of Christ in order that they could participate:

    "On September 8, 1868, the pope wrote an Apostolic Letter, Arcano divinae Providentiae consilio, to the Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, which demanded fidelity to the commitment they made to reunion at the Council of Lyons in 1274 and again at the Council of Florence in 1439."    

    But Davies, confusing the matter even further, misreads this Letter as pointing to the Councils of Lyons and Florence as having allowed schismatics to participate as schismatics, not as uniates (as though schismatics could set policy and doctrine for the Catholic Church!), and not in the proper sense just previously quoted.

    For example, the Orthodox participated in the Second Council of Lyons only because they consented to sign this declaration (which made them Catholics):

    "The Holy Roman Church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole Catholic Church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman Pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled."

    That this participation and Council did not end the schism permanently or completely is only because, according to Eastern Orthodox ecclesiology, the representatives had no authority to bind the other Orthodox bishops back home.

    But the simple fact is that those Orthodox who participated were converted Catholics at the onset by the signing of that declaration.

    It is worth mentioning that in so far as certain Churches (e.g., the Greek Orthodox) become uniate or schismatic at various points in history, they likewise vacillated between true particular churches possessing formal apostolicity, and schismatic churches, possessing only material apostolicity (therefore not representing true local churches at such times).

    But in the appendix titled "The Declaration Dominus Iesus Re: The Term Subsistit," which represents a blatant defense of Lumen Gentium as well, the reader will be shocked to see how far this error regarding formal apostolicity and true local churches causes Davies to embrace the new ecclesiology:

    "But what of the churches, dioceses, that have breached their unity with the Holy See? Do they cease to be particular churches? By no means." (P. 406)

    Now, I will be unjustly fair to Mr. Davies here, because as the phrase stands, he does not distinguish between authentic and schismatic particular churches (which makes it merely ambiguous).

    But from the context, previous quotes showing him arguing in favor of schismatic churches representing authentic churches, and the sentence immediately following that just quoted, in which Mr. Davies reverts to his already refuted erroneous interpretation of Pius IX's Arcano Divinae Providentiae, we know what he means, and he finishes with the alarming statement that:

    "There is thus no doubt whatsoever that the Dioceses of the Eastern Orthodox Churches constitute true particular churches despite being schismatic." (p. 406)

    That statement is heretical, insofar as it directly contradicts the Church's immemorial teaching on apostolicity, in addition to implicitly rejecting Pope Pius XII's encyclical Mystici Corporis Christii (of which Dominus Iesus and Lumen Gentium are also violators).

    No particular church can be said to be a “true particular church” which does not possess formal apostolicity, and therefore receive its jurisdiction from the Pope.  It necessarily follows, therefore, that all true particular churches are in union with Rome, since otherwise, it is not possible for them to possess ordinary jurisdiction (the distinguishing feature of formal apostolicity). To say otherwise is to make of the Petrine Primacy an empty title, by implying jurisdiction (which only flows from Peter) is not necessary for a true particular church to have a legitimate apostolic mission.

    And it is ludicrous to contend that there can be such a thing as a true particular church not in union with Peter, which is at once divided in government, worship, doctrine, and devoid of jurisdiction and legitimate apostolic mission, for to hold any other opinion is to negate the gravity of schism (and heresy) and make the injunctions of the Church and Pius XII, et al, frivolous and of no consequence for salvation.

    Moreover, it is to encourage complacency and peaceful conscience in the hearts of those our Lord is trying to prompt to reach out to the only Ark of Salvation which is the Catholic Church, and in such measure, the position advocated by Davies, Dominus Iesus, and Lumen Gentium is antichrist.

    Therein lies the true evil latent within the teaching of Dominus Iesus and Lumen Gentium, and the contorted path Michael Davies has traveled in order to attempt to justify them.

    But having reached this point, we are brought back to asking ourselves the question:

    Why is the SSPX publishing a book promoting such ideas?

    To my thinking, that question has already been answered above.


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