Skip to comments.SSPX "answer without response" to Vatican ultimatum
Posted on 06/28/2008 4:57:31 PM PDT by livius
The schismatic traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has reacted to a Vatican ultimatum by challenging the conditions Rome set for its return to the Catholic fold. By sending this in a letter, SSPX leader Bishop Bernard Fellay partly fulfilled one condition of the ultimatum, i.e. answering by the end of this month. But he did not fulfill the more important other half of that requirement, i.e. that he respond positively. In fact, he told the Vatican that other conditions to accept papal authority and not criticise the pope were too vague to be accepted, according to SSPX spokesman Rev. Alain Lorans. As Lorans put it: You can say hes not responding, despite answering it.
This is a clever way of ducking deadline pressure, but it doesnt answer the real issues. It looked like the Vatican had the SSPX in a corner when the ultimatum of June 4 became known early this week. By wording the five conditions so vaguely that contentious issues such as the new Mass and the Second Vatican Council reforms went unmentioned, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos the Vatican official dealing with traditionalists may have thought they might win over the schismatics. Benedict had already taken the first step towards a possible accord last year by liberalising the use of the old Latin Mass that the SSPX has championed as its visible trademark. The ultimatum made a further conciliatory gesture by keeping the explicit requirements to a minimum.
But Benedict has his red lines too...
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.reuters.com ...
Maybe the SSPX can hook up with the pro-gay Episcopalians. They’re worlds apart on theology, but the spirit is much the same.
I think they have permanently marginalized themselves.
Yes. I think some members will leave very soon when they realize the SSPX simply isn’t interested in being Catholic.
Well...it sounds like they’re trying to preserve the status quo without outright rejecting the conditions.
It will be interesting to see how the Vatican responds to this. They have been very patient thus far.
I think Fellay probably couldn’t get the hardliners to go along with him. I’m not sure he was 100% for it, but I think he might have been a little more willing if it was simply up to him. On the other hand, the odd thing I have noticed is that the attitude of the SSPX actually seems to have hardened a bit since the Motu Proprio. You’d think they’d have been happy about it, but they almost seem a little threatened to think that the old Mass might someday be commonly available to any Catholic, without SSPX involvement. Interesting, in any case, and I hope they rethink this.
Here’s the SSPX thread!
We are spending far too much time and energy on these heretics.
Send’em off packing to join the rest of the protestant heresies.
When they are ready to come home to Christ’s Church they will.
I think he (Bp. Fellay) has heard from the Society’s financial contributors, and he may be afraid to appear “soft.”
There is frankly a fair amount of paranoia in certain parts of the SSPX, and some people are unfortunately reacting to the Vatican’s rapprochement as some kind of maniacal plot to undermine Tradition.
From my perspective, the Holy Father has moved things in just the right way. Let us see what happens next. I actually don’t think he will react harshly, for a number of reasons.
Also, I think it is possible that the Vatican will simply and patiently clarify the requirements, and answer any concerns expressed.
“Youd think theyd have been happy about it, but they almost seem a little threatened to think that the old Mass might someday be commonly available to any Catholic, without SSPX involvement.”
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. They wanted the old Mass open to everyone and that seems to be happening now (not over night of course, but quickly enough considering the circumstances). The SSPX is not so SPECIAL anymore. It is going to have to compete with diocesan priests everywhere - and the marriages and confessions performed by those diocesan priests will be canonically valid ones unlike with the SSPX! It’s almost like the SSPXers got the big piece of cake they’ve demanded for so long and they’re choking on it.
I hate the fact that Reuters describes the conditions as an “Ultimatum.” It is no more an ultimatum than a Taco Bell employment application or an instruction guide for assembling an Ikea entertainment center. If the SSPX does nothing, nothing happens. In an ultimatum, if the party does nothing, some consequence happens (e.g. “Open up the door or I’ll break it down!”)
Reuters was glad to use the SSPX’s language of “ultimatum.” The SSPX has already stated that they aren’t going to cooperate with the Successor of Peter until their handful of non-successors of Peter determine that the true Successor has “returned to Tradition.” Other than a blanket denuciation of Vatican II, they offer few specifics. Who is giving the ultimata around here?
That said, I want to see a reunification, because millions of souls will be affected if this schism lasts more than a generation.
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More talk-talk. The Vatican doesn't do war-war anymore. For those who see disagreements at the higher levels in the SSPX, think again. They are all firmly united on the theological issues involved. This will be a long, tough series of negotiations. Pray for them, pray for the Pope.
Fellay: “I have already written a response
and we will see how Rome will react”
[17:45][Fellay:] Perhaps it is false to say, in such a way, directly, that I reject, that I propose a total rejection [of the conditions], that is not true. Rather, I see in this ultimatum a very vague, confused thing. But, in fact, I have already written a response and we will see how Rome will react.
[18:53] [Fellay:] For me, this ultimatum has no sense, because we have relations with Rome which go forward in a certain speed, which is truly slow. And it is true, on the other hand, that both the Cardinal [Castrillón Hoyos] and the Holy Father would wish for a rather accelerated speed. For me, the only meaning of this ultimatum is the expression of this desire of Rome to give it a little bit of hastiness. And for me it is not a reconsideration of all our relations.
[Interviewer:] “Then, you expect to continue in the dialogue, still?”
[Fellay:] Yes, yes, it is possible that there will now be a time of more, of coolness, but, frankly, for me, it is not over, no.
“...they offer few specifics.”
On the contrary, they are and have been very specific.
“We are spending far too much time and energy on these heretics.”
Specifically, what is their heresy?
“There is frankly a fair amount of paranoia in certain parts of the SSPX, and some people are unfortunately reacting to the Vaticans rapprochement as some kind of maniacal plot to undermine Tradition.”
Where could they possibly get this idea?
The Curia and the bishops of the world have embraced the Moto Proprio with such eagerness that Latin Masses are now available everywhere.
Where could they possibly get this idea? The Curia and the bishops of the world have embraced the Moto Proprio with such eagerness that Latin Masses are now available everywhere.Ouch.
They insist that "Extra Ecclesia Nulla Sallus!"
Not exactly the type of 'support' the Holy Father needs. Prayers continue for a solution to this situation.
When His Holiness acts in accord with Tradition, the SSPX has stood up and cheered. To accept all of the acts of the man is going too far. We respect and revere the Pope, we do not worship him.
Yes, as usual, it’s sloppy reporting.
Insider rumor about the SSPX letter-response to Rome
CATEGORY: SESSIUNCULUM Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 10:36 am
I received a tip via e-mail.
Before reading this, I am getting it second hand and also I have no way to get separate confirmation. So, we have to take this for what it is worth. Its up to you.
Here is one sentence of the three sentence message I edited it to fix the English:
I´m back from Econe. I spoke with some people. Rome has accepted a response and wrote back positively. All is going well this was said by Castrillon.
Remember that Card. Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei gave Five Conditions to Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX.
These five points were conditions for continuing dialogue about closer unity between the SSPX and Rome.
The conditions did not concern explicit doctrinal issues about Vatican II or the Novus Ordo of Mass.
They focused on the public attitude of the SSPX toward the person of the Roman Pontiff and about unity.
Important factors to keep in mind:
Twenty years ago, 30 June 1988, the split took place with the illicit consecrations of bishops.
Pope Benedict has been a key figure, history, in the dialogue of the SSPX and Rome.
Pope Benedict is the Pope most favorable toward the goals of the SSPX the SSPX is like to see.
The longer the split continues, the harder it will be to heal it.
After all this time, there are now followers of the SSPX who have never know anything other than this serious state of division and conflict.
Card. Castrillon Hoyos is approaching 80 years of age, when he will more then like step down as President of Ecclesia Dei.
Bp. Fellay will be under tremendous pressure to placate the hardcore followers of the SSPX who give financial support in an increasingly expensive world.
Bp. Fellay is likely the least hardcore of the four excommunicated SSPX bishops.
Bp. Fellay has been a bit cagey about the response he sent to Rome, neither saying that he accepted the conditions nor saying outright that he refused them.
I pray that the rumor/report I received is true.
I provide this so that you can motive to PRAY! PRAY NOW! that before the end of the month, Rome and SSPX can take these mutal steps toward each other.
“to accept papal authority and not criticise the pope were too vague to be accepted,
Not exactly the type of ‘support’ the Holy Father needs. Prayers continue for a solution to this situation.”
There are only four SSPX bishops.
Thank God that all of the other several thousand faithful bishops out there accept all that the pope directs, never criticize him, faithfully observe the rubrics of the Mass and require the priests under their supervision to do likewise.
“I provide this so that you can motive to PRAY! PRAY NOW! that before the end of the month, Rome and SSPX can take these mutual steps toward each other.”
Couldn’t agree more.
I have heard that some SSPX affiliated faithful are becoming quite clannish due to their de facto segregation from other Catholics. If true, the longer this goes on, the worse it will get.
I had the privilege to attend several SSPX Masses in Phoenix when I was stationed at Luke AFB from 1984-1986. It was a pleasure to escape the liturgical zoo, which existed then in the Phoenix Diocese. I remain grateful to the SSPX for that opportunity. My previous assignment had been Mt. Home AFB in the Boise Diocese, at that time under His Excellency Bishop Sylvester Ryan, which if anything was worse than Phoenix.
This is a good Pope, but one wouldn't want to deny that through the ages there have been Popes to whom blind obedience might not always have pleased God, although that situation fortunately was the exception.
“I have heard that some SSPX affiliated faithful are becoming quite clannish due to their de facto segregation from other Catholics.”
Some. Others are now seeing the positive fruits of the Motu Proprio and feeling much more secure in their faith. More the NO faithful are seeing the SSPX congregants as far less ‘out there’ since they have finally learned that the Latin Mass has never been suppressed (at least de jure).
Uh......guess what? Neither do we. We respect him and obey him unconditionally, not just when it suits us. Enough with the Protestant cliches.
So who's to decide when the Pope is in line with tradition? SSPX, right?
My friends, if the Pope's writings and ministry are subject to your personal approval, SSPX approval, or anyone else's approval then he's not the Pope. You are. It's as simple as that.
Your post highlights the problem in a nutshell. The fundamental problem here and the main obstacle to any reconciliation is that SSPX regards itself and not the Pope as the true repository of Catholic tradition and teaching. With this mindset, where is the motivation for a reconciliation? Where is the urgency? There is none. Why break a sweat to reconcile with an organization which you consider to be apostate or at the very least, wrong on critical issues?
Allied to this is the imposition of conditions. Conditions, any conditions no matter how minimal, will always be a problem for the proud and they also suggest error on the part of SSPX. SSPX doesn't see it that way. It in no sense sees itself as having wandered off the reservation and it sees the Pope and the rest of the Church as being the ones which have fled the fold. Why should it agree to the condition of refraining from criticizing the Pope and his actions for instance, if it sees no wrongdoing in this line of action?
In order for the Prodigal Son to return home and be reconciled to his father, he first had to admit to himself that he had sinned and gone astray. Until a similar situation occurs with the SSPX, there will be no reconciliation. You'll wait a long time for the Catholic Church to get down on its knees before the SSPX.
We respect him and obey him unconditionally...When did that become the Catholic standard? Any citation out of Canon Law or the Catechism for such an odd claim?
“We respect him and obey him unconditionally, not just when it suits us.”
Uh, who is “we”?
Are you talking about the vast majority of Catholics who ignore Humanae Vitae?
Or perhaps the huge number of priests who ad lib portions of the Mass as they choose?
Or maybe the numerous bishops who fail to insure that their priests are taught Latin in the seminary as REQUIRED by Canon Law?
Or the many priests and nuns who have told me over the years that the Church “outlawed” Latin not only in the Mass but also hymns, “required” the Communion rails to be torn out, and mandated standing during the entire Canon of the Mass?
Was Fr. Burfitt the priest there?
Sorry rogator, I didn't read the years that you were in Phoenix. Fr. Burfitt wasn't even ordained yet. Never mind.
But, but, but THEY are “Extra Ecclesia”!!!
It was twenty two years ago and I probably attended Mass there ten or twelve times. At least a few of these times there was a visiting padre, a retired priest who lived in Sun City.
I don’t remember either name.
The church was at 7th and Baseline, I believe, a long way from Luke.
I agree, issue a decree of excommunication for all of their Clergy and adherents, put them in the same boat as the “Womyn Priests” and let it sink.
“I agree, issue a decree of excommunication for all of their Clergy and adherents,...”
Since when did holding the same beliefs as and worshiping God in the same way your ancestors did, become an excommunicable offense?
I suppose you could dig up the bodies of all the Catholics who died before 1970 and hold their Canonical trial at the same time as the SSPXers. If it was good enough for Pope Liberius, it should be good enough for them.
Think of all the paper that you could save by putting all of them on the same decree. That should make all of the greenie liberals among you happy.
There are quite a few bishops, who are bastions of orthodoxy, who might be happy to preside over such a trial. Mahony, Weakland, Hunthausen, and Trautman immediately come to mind but I am sure that there are many others.
But, but, but THEY are Extra Ecclesia!!!If so, when did that happen and who did it happen to?
I agree, issue a decree of excommunication for all of their Clergy and adherents, put them in the same boat as the Womyn Priests and let it sink.So if you want them now "kicked out", you must concede they are still "in", right? More, what 'crime' have they committed that desrves the ultimate penalty?
Being in a state of Abject disobedience is enough to get them excommunicated, just look at Archbishop Burke in St. Louis he excommunicated the board of Stanislaus Kotska for that very reason.
I am not a Cannon Lawyer, but he is, so I assume him to be right.
It actually is both.
The Bishops are Excommunicated as of 1988 while the adherents are irregular, so (I concede) not technically outside the Church. With the possible exception of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Burke placed them either under interdict or pains of excommunication along with “A Call to Action” etc. I don’t recall which.
And in regards to the Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus Controversy: Those were the Feenyites, and that issue came out of the 1950s and centered around the St. Benedict Center. That was reconciled in 1972 when Bishop Reilly and Fr. Schmaruk met with them.
They were not required to recant to be regularized.
A small group did break off and head North of the boarder to NH, but I believe they are SedVacantist.
I would take it a step further and say that the SSPX is now doing far more harm than good.
The Hokey Pokey Bishops keep refering them when talking about Summorum Pontificum, like it is a some sort of special concession to a bunch of folks who’ve marginalized themselves.
The best thing the SSPXrs could do is corporately submit petitions to their local Bishops for a regular TLM in their Cannonical Parishes AND at the same time have their Priest request regularization for this purpose.
If 100-200 families contacted a local Parish requesting the TLM they might just get it...maybe not right away, but hopefully, eventually.