Open Letter to Bishop Fellay from All Priests and Bishops of the SSPX
Greetings Your Excellency-
You will understand that we are shocked by the recent letter you sent to us in the June/2017 Cor Unum, which is subversive of the security of our apostolate, and of our fidelity to the Catholic Faith.
Your letter begins by noting “some troubles which have broken out in our Fraternity in recent months,” but in acknowledging this, you do not look to the cause, but only to the effect (i.e., the “troubles” of which you yourself are the cause). Apparently, you would administer an aspirin to smother the symptoms, rather than addressing the disease which produces them.
By recalling to us that the statutes reserve the addressing of Roman relations to the Superior General, we see in it a control measure designed to snuff out any opposition to the ralliement. We recall that before the ralliement became public, Society priests regularly wrote and spoke on the matter of Roman relations, without opposition from Menzingen or the various District headquarters, for the most part. Obviously, you do not want a contrary voice to highlight your treachery, and hence your appeal to this rule. But since the moral virtue of obedience is subordinate to the theological virtue of faith, we calmly disregard your appeal to it, and execute our duty to shepherd the faithful by recalling to them from the pulpits, from the bulletins, from conferences, and articles, why signing a deal with unconverted Rome will imperil their souls.
What madness has possessed you that Your Excellency has lost sight of the clear and present danger to the Faith in Rome? Only a fool would be persuaded (as your letter expects us to be), that there is a new climate in Rome which somehow wants Tradition (even as it persecutes it?).
Regarding the recent letters of our colleagues in France, we are greatly perplexed -and angered- that you would recount to us the 2006 General Chapter declaration’s decision that “bringing to public light a dispute with authority is grounds for dismissal from the Society.” Fr. Rioult has “brought to light” your secret dealings with Rome, and the agreement to “proceed by stages toward a practical accord” with the modernists, and we cannot but wonder if the 2006 statute you refer to was perhaps one of these “preparations” (designed to smother opposition when the time arrived for you to show your true subversive intentions).
But per Your Excellency’s admonition, we do take your warning seriously, and recognize that those who possess the fortitude to oppose this treacherous reorientation are likely exposed to the danger of expulsion: Your Excellency has readily resorted to this tactic (which Fr. Pfluger rejoiced in as a “purification” of the SSPX in his Flavigny conference to the Brothers). We fully understand that you must rid our Fraternity of opposition before Rome will accept your signature. This is common sense.
But Heaven forbid that we should be cowards under the guise of prudence or obedience, while our sheep are led by you to the Roman slaughterhouse!
You tell us that we are only imagining we are defending Tradition. Yet how closely our observations regarding the ralliement matched those of Your Excellency, in Letter #63 (et al)!
You pretend it is our opposition which weakens the Fraternity by fracturing its unity, rather than your reorientation of it in preparation for the Prelature. Rank dishonesty! Was it not Your Excellency who explained to Benedict XVI (modernist) that you were willing to endure heavy opposition and division for the sake of reaching a practical agreement, when you sought an explanation for Rome’s last minute rejection of the Declaration you signed?
YOU are the cause of the disunity in the Society, a consequence of having left the prudential path of Archbishop Lefebvre (and we all know how it will end).
It has not gone unnoticed, however, this focus Your Excellency has, on unity over doctrine (a hallmark of the conciliar church which you are already dissolving our Fraternity into). But this does not surprise us: The bishop you expelled to facilitate your betrayal has already observed that “the crisis in the SSPX resembles in all aspects the crisis in the Church after Vatican II.” A separate response could track all these similarities, but to what end? Your Excellency has already stated his determination to Rome to plow ahead, regardless of the rupture it causes in the Society.
Yet you presume to lecture us on disrupting the unity of our Society?
Your Excellency will forgive us then, when we smirk at your disingenuous assertion that “it is impossible to use an evil and unlawful means without causing damage to the common good” which rather tends to condemn Your Excellency, and not us.
As for your “Five Points” recalling the nature of our relations with Rome, we perceive in them signs of Your Excellency’s own modernist infection (no doubt caused by too frequent visits to the leper colony):
In point #1, Your Excellency makes a couple troublesome statements:
Firstly, you allege that the crisis in the Church began at least as far back as the time of Pope Leo XIII. What kind of nonsense is this? There was no crisis at that time because the authorities suppressed the revolutionaries, whereas today they are in collusion with them. In fact, they are them!
You will forgive us if we suspect in Your Excellency’s words an attempt to stretch the crisis back to the 1800’s so as to exonerate the Second Vatican Council, and avoid identifying it as the cause of the present crisis.
Rome has taken the same posture for the last 50+ years, and this is precisely why the crisis worsens daily.
Later in the same paragraph, Your Excellency says “these errors, called false interpretations…” Why not call them errors simply? Why reduce them to mere “false interpretations?” Did not 2 years of staged doctrinal discussions (the promised videos of which we have yet to see, six years after the fact!) clearly show these to be errors? This equivocation clearly betrays the intellectual confusion (at best) in Your Excellency’s mind (or heart?) as to whether these errors are really errors properly so-called. Perhaps it is like Your Excellency recalled in the CNS interview years ago, that people really don’t know what the Council actually taught? Perhaps only the illumined understand these are not really errors after all (even though your own negotiators clearly thought so!)?
In point #3, Your Excellency rightly recalls that Archbishop Lefebvre’s prudential position regarding Rome is what saved the Society (and the faith of all time), yet today you freely leave it, on the specious pretext of “changed circumstances” (for the better) in Rome? What mad man would believe this? Rome has never been more mired in modernism; there is not a single conciliar bishop or cardinal in the entire world who professes, unambiguously, and without equivocation, the faith of all time. No, not even your modernist friends like Bishop Athanasius Schneider, et al. All these men are men of Vatican II: Pozzo, Burke, di Noia, Hoyos, etc.
In point #5, Your Excellency needlessly points out to us that Archbishop Lefebvre never wanted to separate from the Church, as though our continued resistance to the conciliar reforms was tantamount to precisely such a separation. This is more revealing of Your Excellency’s thinking, than ours. For our part, we have no need of being told this. But for your part, you seem to fear this imagined danger (and the scrupulous propaganda you permit to drip from the pens of Fr. Simoulin, Schmidberger, Pfluger, Nely, Robinson, et al reinforces this suspicion).
The implicit argument is that the position of the SSPX for the last 29 years has been schismatic. You won’t come out and say it, but you fear it. Neither can you avoid the conclusion (as you do later) by appealing to changed circumstances: Has not Rome always been ready to approve the Society, if only it would comply with Roman demands (as it has been doing all throughout this long ralliement process, at least since the 1997 GREC meetings)? Did not the modernist Rome of the 1970’s tell Archbishop Lefebvre that one Novus Ordo Mass, and all would be forgiven? Did not the modernist Rome of the 1980s/1990’s tell Archbishop Lefebvre that one act of humility and apology from Archbishop Lefebvre to John Paul II, and everything would be rectified?
Yes, Your Excellency, we perceive in you the belief that the Society is schismatic, and a consequent desperation to solve that “abnormal canonical situation.” In this, you have fallen into the same legalism which causes all once-traditional communities to “run to Rome” (as you once wrote).
Could you not simply resign, and “reconcile” yourself? Or, do you perceive an imagined duty to take as many as possible with you into Rome, to assuage your scrupulous conscience, for having lead a group of illegal priests who have been administering invalid confessions and marriages since at least the suspensions of 1976?
Your Excellency considers that a line of conduct regarding Roman relations was proclaimed at the 2006 and 2012 General Chapters, without, however, mentioning that the latter contradicts the former! Instead, you attempt to deceive, pretending that 2012 is the further development of 2006, as though contradiction could be development!
The principles do not change, but the circumstances can change. We do not disagree. But we do perceive that in the reality of the situation in Rome and in our Society, it is the principles which have changed, and the circumstances have remained the same! The principle of action from the 2006 General Chapter was that there will be no practical accord with unconverted Rome. The circumstances were (and still are) that Rome remains mired in modernism, and actively promotes it throughout the universal Church.
If in good faith, Your Excellency is so delusional that he can neither perceive nor admit this reality, then Your Excellency is clearly not competent to safely guide our Fraternity through this crisis, and we demand that you (and all those who share your delusion or non-comprehension throughout the various District offices) resign his/their position(s) immediately. Such blindness cannot but lead us into the rocky shoals, upon which we may already be stranded.
Your Excellency states that “for nothing” do we want to leave this line of action by which we recognize the authorities in the Church, but refuse their errors. We quite agree, but notice that Your Excellency is doing precisely that in such measure as your branding campaign tends to stop refusing the Roman and conciliar errors. It is an intermediate step along the pathway to acceptance of those errors: First we stop combating them, and this, combined with a continuous emphasis on respecting Roman authority, over time, causes us to begin accepting the errors (after all, nobody is any longer telling us they are errors!).
If I could attend a meeting of the Grand Orient Lodge of Freemasonry, I would imagine precisely such a strategem to subvert, then capture, Tradition.
Your Excellency uses an interesting way to describe the traditional position of our Society: “We affirm our submission to legitimate authority, and we almost systematically refuse to follow it.” This description, accurate so far as it goes, almost seems like a criticism, as though in refusing “systematically” to follow authority, we are at fault for doing so. This in turn implies a denial of the “systematic” way in which the conciliar revolution has been implemented throughout the universal Church, in liturgy, catechetical instruction, sacramental rites, canon law, etc.
Has Your Excellency lost his grasp on the breadth and seriousness of the crisis in the Church? It seems so.
At last, Your Excellency -we hesitate to say it, but we must- shows himself a traitor in declaring that “it is a false and very dangerous approximation to say ‘we do not need a delegation for marriages;’ ‘supplied jurisdiction for confessions is enough for us…’” Implicit in this condemnation is an acceptance of the opposite proposition: “It is true to say that we need conciliar delegation for our marriages;” “supplied jurisdiction for confessions is not enough for us.” How can our priests and faithful but wonder about the validity of their past sacraments with such nonsense coming from Your Excellency? And leaving aside that issue, how can Your Excellency pretend that there is nothing dangerous about subjecting the control of marriages to diocesan authorities? We see in the Pastoral Guidelines of Cardinal Muller that the norm is that conciliar authorities will give the delegation, and receive the consent of the marriage parties, with the SSPX priest performing the Mass later.
If at present Rome is permitting the delegation to go to Society priests, is it not only to calm the storm? An exception to the Rule (which is only to be implemented “insofar as is possible”)? Do you think in a few years (presuming the SSPX has not already officially sold out by then) this clever Roman implementation of these Pastoral Guidelines will still be giving the delegation to Society priests? Of course not! By then, SSPX priests will no longer trust their supplied jurisdiction, and psychologically depend on receiving the delegtion, even when the Pastoral Guidelines begin to be implemented as they were intended: With the conciliar priest receiving the consent of the faithful.
Just as in all other areas of the ralliement, the Romans progress gradually, with patience (as they continuously explain to you!), and only expect further steps over time. But Your Excellency knows and understands just as well as us, that the day is coming when conciliar reception of vows in SSPX chapels will be widespread and “normal.”
Your Excellency is in a state of open collusion with our enemies, because Your Excellency does not perceive them as such, but as friends.
But our mouths fall wide open when we read Your Excellency endorse the Ecclesia Dei movement, which our Founder condemned as betrayers! Consequently, you too are a betrayer for endorsing betrayers! How can we avoid recognizing this? The same excuse is always offered by the defectors from Tradition: “Imagine the good we could do.” It was condemned in Dom Gerard by the priests of Campos, who later fell for it, and were condemned by…Your Excellency (who, falling for it today, is condemned by us). And the contradiction is supposed to be glossed over by a pretended change in circumstances?
Yet Bishop de Galarreta acknowledged at Albano (late 2011) that there have been no substantial changes in Rome which would justify ours!
Is the fact that Rome is offering more supposed to demonstrate that the heretics want us to fight their heresies? That they want Tradition? Get real!
Consequently, we do not perceive the voice of the Good Shepherd in your strange reasonsings, which seem to come more from the wolf than the shepherd. Quite honestly, Your Excellency, you sound more like the Superior General of the Fraternity of St. Peter, than of the SSPX, in arguing along these lines.
The arguments you are making have always come from Ecclesia Dei quarters. Why not say that you believe Archbishop Lefebvre was wrong, instead of making a fool of yourself by hiding behind a transparent untruth that circumstances and conditions in Rome are improving such that now is the time for an agreement (something you said back in 2001, 2012, and 2017).
“Rome is always getting better,” we are to believe, while the opposite is manifestly the case.
Certainly, your words relativizing supplied jurisdiction demonstrate that you have lost faith in the excellent and impregnable apologetics with which the SSPX has justified recourse to it over the last 40+ years in the exercise of the apostolate. When did that happen to you? Decades ago? Why must we be made to share your scruples? Would it not suffice for you simply to go back to Rome with your like-minded lieutenants? Or, have your Roman captors trapped you with spiritual blackmail, withholding your “spiritual pardon” until such time as you completely betray the fort of Tradition?
And this “slow evolution of conservative circles” you witness, what of it? There have been circles of conservatives since the Council itself! Your Lordship has lost sight of the fact that both liberals and conservatives (i.e., more reserved liberals) are no different than the Jacobins and Girondins in the French Revolution: Both supported the revolution, with the only difference being the Jacobins (e.g., Bugnini, Congar, Kasper, Kung, Francis) wanted to go farther and faster then the Girondins (i.e., Benedict XVI, Athanasius Schneider, Pozzo, Burke).
But does not +Athanasius Schneider support and organize ecumenism? Does not ++Burke think to defend marriage based upon the doctrine of JPII, and in reliance on post-Vatican II theology, and in a way which carefully avoids attacking that hellish Council? Does not BXVI pretend that the pre- and post-conciliar magisteriums can be reconciled through Hegelian dialectic and the synthesis of opposites (i.e., the hermeneutic of continuity)?
Your “growing conservative movement” is largely illusory, except to the extent that it is populated with former traditionalists like yourself. But were it ever to become a reality, it would present a greater danger to souls for its errors being the more difficult to identify. Pick your poison.
As for the many alleged Nicodemus’s within the Ecclesia Dei communities who believe the position of Archbishop Lefebvre is correct, does not their very presence within those compromised and captured communities demonstrate the opposite? They have not at all understood, much less agreed with, Archbishop Lefebvre. Their reasoning, position, and doctrine, is completely based on legalism, placing -like Your Excellency- canonical “regularity” above the primacy of doctrine, and willing to let everything else fall by the wayside (even the Mass), so long as the Roman stamp of approval be retained:
They have accepted religious liberty (as Your Excellency implicitly did in the CNS interview); they declare there are no errors in the documents of Vatican II (Your Excellency says we accept 95% of it); they celebrate the Novus Ordo (Your Excellency is reported to have stated in Rome that had Archbishop Lefebvre seen the new Mass celebrated that way, he never would have opposed it); they practice ecumenism (Your Excellency promotes the GREC meetings, and the forthcoming tardcumenical Catholic Identity Conference); etc.
Has Your Excellency noticed that you now seem to have more in common with Ecclesia Dei than with the SSPX?
In what way are these “Nicodemus’s” in agreement with Archbishop Lefebvre? At best, while thinking to compliment your new friends, you are actually calling them cowards, as well as calling into question their honesty and integrity, by making this argument.
And were we not to raise our voice, we would be in danger of sharing the same fate [take note, SSPX priests!].
If Your Excellency thinks to see “an improvement on the conditions imposed on us by Rome,” we wonder what is the relevance or importance of what is being offered? Archbishop Lefebvre said to Cardinal Ratzinger, “Eminence, even if you give us everything – a bishop, some autonomy from the bishops, the 1962 liturgy, allow us to continue our seminaries – we cannot work together because we are going in different directions. You are working to dechristianize society and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them.”
Why does this same state of affairs (i.e., working in opposite directions) today not concern you, as it did our Founder? Shall you uncrown Him as well? As the Jews said when they planned to murder Our Lord, “It is expedient that one Man die?”
Only an imbecile would fail to recognize that so long as the Society and Rome are working in different directions, there can never be any fruitful collaboration. Consequently, if there is collaboration, it is because both sides are really working in the same (wrong) direction. And Your Excellency’s endorsements of the Ecclesia Dei communities, and the allegedly allied “conservatives” in Rome, tell us all we need to know about which direction this collaboration is taking:
Your Excellency is steering our Society from Tradition into conservative conciliarism.
But to perceive that Rome is offering more, because they are “improving,” is to be in danger of solipsism. Has not Rome itself admitted that their goal is to bring you around to the Council? They must be well pleased with the progress YOU have made in this regard! It is not antichrist Rome becoming more Catholic, but Your Excellency becoming more liberal, which causes you this delusional perception.
Rome has learned that the longer they withhold the Prelature from you, the more Your Excellency is willing to concede and compromise in order to attain it. THIS is the reason for the infernal “coma” which robs the SSPX of a final death; a death which will surely come, but not before much more suffering. The SSPX must atone for its former sins, you see, and the humiliating compromises Rome extorts will be our purgation, and their protection and security.
“Yes, yes, Cardinal Muller, we must take more time indeed; we must find this “deeper conversion” which is attained through these continual and too frequent contacts (and which is only arrived at upon total acceptance of Vatican II!).”
We raise our eyebrows at your claim that we need to wait and see if the Roman authorities will “confirm the relativization of the Council,” when it is the exact opposite that is happening: Your Excellency is relativizing Tradition, supplied jurisdiction, and the need to resist the Roman errors!
But to pretend that the Roman authorities have shown “benevolence” by ensnaring Tradition is almost to declare oneself an accomplice, working against Tradition from within, for its final destruction.
Contrary to Your Excellency’s belief that Tradition has much to gain from a practical accord with unconverted Rome, yet again, it is exactly the opposite which is true: The truth has nothing to gain, since it is already in possession of itself, but it does have everything to lose by repudiating the prudential advice of Archbishop Lefebvre, and subjecting itself to its enemies and manipulators, and if the SSPX has been in a state of qualitative decline since his death, it is precisely because the inheritance he left has been disregarded by those who think themselves to know better, such that the light is more and more being placed beneath the bushel basket.
We will all of us likely yet live to see the folly of that hubris.
Your Excellency will be remembered by history as the man who destroyed the SSPX.
600 priests of the SSPX