Skip to comments.SSPX FRANCE REPORTEDLY IN CHAOS
Posted on 09/20/2004 7:38:56 AM PDT by NYer
Taking a break from judging annulments earlier today, I visited a number of French traditionalist websites. I also had the opportunity, yesterday, to speak with a friend of mine who is a canonist from France following the situation as well as another friend who keeps tabs on the traditionalist movement in both the English and the French speaking world. Everyone agrees -- the situation has degenerated into total chaos, as nobody knows exactly what is going on with the highly-respected French SSPX clergy that have criticized what they see as the SSPX's growing rigidity.
It does appear that Rome has refused to take competency over the case, more-or-less stating that the SSPX denied Rome's jurisdiction over them when Lefebvre carried out a schismatic act through the 1988 episcopal consecrations. Beyond that, Rome refuses to comment other than to say, "Our door remains open for their return to full communion."
Beyond that, the rhetoric, polemic and accusations suggest that indeed civil war is breaking out among the laity and clergy within the SSPX's French District. In fact, two websites have now popped up that are exclusively devoted to tracing all the news stories associated with the crisis. What I find personally find interesting is that every news report, commentary, polemic, etc... mentions Fr. Aulagnier's expulsion from the SSPX around this time last year.
In the months that followed, it appears that the SSPX more-or-less tried to sweep Fr. Aulagnier's expulsion under the rug. But in so doing, even the regime currently in charge of the SSPX had to admit the important role played by Fr. Aulagnier in the founding of the SSPX. This is probably why the SSPX appeared to hope the issue would go away.
Yet it is also well-known that Fr. Aulagnier was a close friend of Fr. Laguerie as well as Fr. de Tanouarn -- two of the SSPX's leading priests. (As Fr. Laguerie's assistant, Fr. Henri appears to have just happened into the situation). It is also well-known that a number of French (and some American) SSPX priests were not happy with Fr. Aulagnier's expulsion. Therefore, I will venture to guess that the current SSPX chaos is the effect of Fr. Aulagnier's expulsion coming back to haunt Bishop Fellay. As for the particular details, this is the first time in almost fourteen years of being a traditionalist that I find the fog of war too thick to reasonably discern what is going on. (What I find even more troubling is that behind the scenes, under the flag of truce, other SSPX and traditionalist commentators with whom I am in contact have admitted to having the same problem.)
So if I can end on a personal note to the moderate SSPX clergy and their supporters who follow this blog, I'm more than happy to abide by the flag of truce and keep you guys in prayer while you fight whatever battles need to be fought, but I honestly cannot make heads-or-tails of what is happening. But like Rome has said, the door is open for you to return. I will pray that God gives you the necessary strength to walk through it.
I personally join my prayers to his.
These sites are in French; here are the links.
The SSPX website, www.dici.org, has the latest info. on this.
I really don't know what to make of it other than to continue to pray for their regularization within the Church. Even the analysis on www.dici.org gives somewhat of a soul-searching, and is much more pastoral than most of the adherents who post here.
The one which you've posted links to a short book review.
When I first clicked on your link I got shunted to some book review page. The second time I clicked I got the right page.
Is Pete Vere judging annulments?
As for the particular details, this is the first time in almost fourteen years of being a traditionalist that I find the fog of war too thick to reasonably discern what is going on.
Is Pete Vere a traditionalist?
"Is Pete Vere judging annulments?"
He is a canon lawyer and, especially in North America, annulments amount to about 98% of the work that canon lawyers do.
"Is Pete Vere a traditionalist?"
Yes - he used to be quite anti-SSPX, although I believe he has called a truce in terms of debate and polemic. I also believe he attends an indult Mass.
Ping for later
Pete would have no Indult to attend were it not for SSPX. If they eventually go under, the Indult will follow.
Of course, some people consider themselves traditionalist if they have stopped going to the Clown Mass.
Like the Bush White House's handling of Dan Rather and CBS, the Vatican steps back and allows SSPX factions to fight this one out.
Yes for men such as him our prayers are most in need, with the caveat that in the event our prayers can not do him good (consider the parable of Lazarus in heaven and the rich man in hell) they be applied to someone in purgatory.
"If they eventually go under, the Indult will follow."
That is my fear. If they fragment into smaller groups, traditionalists will be easier to pick off by the liberal bishops' conferences.
The time maybe approaching when they need to consider some accommodation with Rome in order carry on the fight effectively.
If they could get an Apostolic Administration or a Personal Prelature, then that would be an effective protection against recalcitrant local ordinaries.
"Of course, some people consider themselves traditionalist if they have stopped going to the Clown Mass."
When you have the power to see into men's hearts then you will have the right to judge. Until then I suggest you leave that up to God.
I was distinguishing between traditionalists and pseudo traditionalists, not condemning people to Hell.
A problem I think traditionalists have is the alacrity with which the hierarchy, including in Rome, leaps to club down any priest who says the traditional Latin Mass, while almost all of us can report a long list of local outrages and sacrileges that go uncorrected.
This doen not lead people to trust any but the firmest arrangements for the future. And traditionalism is more than the Mass.
My memory is somewhat hazy, but I have the impression that this is precisely what was offered by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in the recently rejected overture to SSPX. A similar situation to Opus Dei. Is that correct?
The Campos settlement contained a similar provision, did it not?
This is about as reliable as a CBS story about the Republicans. Envoy would like nothing better than chaos to reign within the SSPX. But what's going on is not unusual in an institution of growing influence. Same thing happened in the early Church.
You are exactly correct. It was an apostolic administration, flatly rejected by Fellay.
It was rejected because the SSPX still thinks it can force the Vatican to give a universal mandate for the Tridentine Mass. It's no secret that some in the Vatican would have already done this were it not for most bishops conferences who objected, loudly.
Now that it appear the strongest group of SSPX priests is fragmenting, the Vatican will likely step back and offer reconciliation, on its terms.
After all, there seems to be a strong sentiment within the SSPX to reconcile before JPII dies.
The next Pontiff might very well tell the SSPX to take a hike, and guys like Aulagnier and Laguiere know that.
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