Posted by IA Moderator, Gregorio Sarto 0n 6 OCT 2012:
I am sorry that it has come to this but here we are:
I am stepping down as moderator of Ignis Ardens, and I wish as many people as possible to know why.
The SSPX has been my spiritual home for the last 10 years - ever since I was old enough to make my own decision about where to attend Mass - and has exerted a positive influence for even longer in many ways. You all know what opinion and position I take regarding the future of the SSPX and the mooted deal with Rome. You also know (most of you, anyway) the regard in which I hold the current direction and leadership of the SSPX. And the marginally lower regard in which I hold those who shut their eyes and side with them, through motives of self-interest when they must surely know better.
I have been aware for some time of scandalous reports, filtering back from Asia and elsewhere, of layfolk being denied the sacraments, or threatened with as much, essentially for no greater crime than an "incorrect opinion" regarding Menzingen's politics and clever diplomatic games. More recently, my attention has been drawn to the possibility of an SSPX-wide policy to this effect.
According to my understanding, Bishop Fellay has 'suggested' to our District Superior that anyone who dares criticize the public words and actions of +Fellay or Menzingen on internet forums such as Ignis Ardens (named specifically) and blogs should be denied Holy Communion by SSPX priests. He communicated that anyone owning or moderating forums where criticism takes place should be denied Holy Communion, and that anyone employed by SSPX who falls into these categories should also get sacked.
I reproduce below what I believe are the relevant canons regarding this, and I leave it to you to see the justice (or lack thereof) in this latest decision by Menzingen/Fellay.
Now, whilst this sort of thing might work in some places, in England the most highly critical of the Romeward, liberal drift of the SSPX are (in my humble opinion) those people who have given the most to the SSPX and who are its most selfless, loyal, devout and generous supporters. I of course do not include myself in that. For people who know me from Mass, I let you judge whether I have not attempted, over the years, to give of my time and very modest efforts in whatever small way possible. My point is that if +Fellay proceeds with forcibly silencing his critics, the people punished most will be those who least deserve it. In any case, in a sense this is all an academic question and does not matter: I personally have complete confidence in Fr. Morgan's integrity as a priest and a loyal son of Archbishop Lefebvre.
But whilst the faithful in the British Isles, Ireland and Scandinavia don't believe for a minute that such a monstrous abuse of ecclesiastical power and function would ever be carried out by our current priests, nevertheless, if Bishop Fellay demands that Ignis Ardens becomes unmoderated then so be it. Clare and I each have our families to think of, lives of our own, and we both have better things to do with our time. Clare of course can speak for herself, but if her thinking is anything like mine, Ignis Ardens may well find its members having to moderate themselves from now on. I am truly amazed that either of us should be threatened with excommunication, but I am not making this up. And whilst I would happily defy an unjust command from a Bishop to whom I have never sworn obedience, and whilst equally I do not believe for one instant that our excellent priests would ever be party to such a monstrous injustice, yet for the sake of Fr. Morgan and the other clergy I will not force the issue, and so I stand down as Moderator.
I make no secret of the fact that I pray for the SSPX and at the moment, specifically, for a speedy end to the Generalship of Bishop Fellay which, I believe, is doing great harm to the SSPX and consequently to Catholic Tradition, Almighty God's work upon earth. May God have Mercy on us all for our sins, and may His will be done.
1983 CODE OF CANON LAW
PARTICIPATION IN THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST
Can. 912 Any baptized person not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to holy communion.
Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.
USURPATION OF ECCLESIASTICAL FUNCTIONS AND DELICTS IN THEIR EXERCISE
Can. 1389 Â§1. A person who abuses an ecclesiastical power or function is to be punished according to the gravity of the act or omission, not excluding privation of office, unless a law or precept has already established the penalty for this abuse.
Â§2. A person who through culpable negligence illegitimately places or omits an act of ecclesiastical power, ministry, or function with harm to another is to be punished with a just penalty.
Christus Semper et Ubique Imperat!