Skip to comments.Rome-SSPX: Important: Fr. Pfluger speaks on recent developments (An imminent agreement?)
Posted on 05/05/2012 1:00:07 PM PDT by narses
Fr. Niklaus Pfluger, FSSPX, is the First Assistant of the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). He was the main speaker at a conference promoted in Hattersheim, Hesse, Germany, this past Sunday, by the Actio Spes Unica association in which he talked about Rome, the Society, and the future. The following is a translation of the official summary of the conference (original, in German): Account of the most recent developments
Nothing new that is how one could describe the first half hour of the conference given by Fr. Niklaus Pfluger at this years Spes-Unica-Sunday: the First Assistant of the Superior General of the SSPX recalled once more how the relationship with Rome has developed in recent years.
But then the conference hall in Hattersheim (Germany) got more and more excited as Fr. Pfluger unexpectedly started to unveil the events of the past years up until now. And he also announced that these events prompted Bishop Fellay to place aside the principle that guided negotiations with Rome.
The Popes desire of a solution
No practical solution without doctrinal agreement such was the principle upon which the Society had started the talks with the Holy See. But the negotiations of the past years have revealed that the different positions regarding central questions of doctrine cannot be bridged.
Recent weeks have revealed that the Pope is so much interested in a canonical solution for the Society that he is ready to seal a deal, even if the Society does not recognize the disputed texts of Vatican II and the New Mass. Would the Society, however, refuse an agreement even under these circumstances, then new excommunications are a possible outcome.
The freedom to continue working in freedom
Under these circumstances the Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, does not consider it possible to reject the Popes proposal. It would be tantamount to a lapse into Sedevacantism if one would still isolate oneself from the Popes wish, if this wish does not entail acknowledging false doctrine. It also is a matter of prudence/wisdom not to cut all connections with Rome. One should keep at least one door open, even if at this moment there seems to be no proximity in doctrinal matters.
It is, of course, a pre-condition that an agreement will cover the assurance that the Society will be able to disagree from Romes positions in disputed matters and that it will have the freedom to continue her work in her entire apostolate. Part of an autonomous status would also be the right to criticize the Council and Modernism.
The offer to Archbishop Lefebvre and historical parallels
By way of support for Bishop Fellays decision Fr. Pfluger recalled the way of action of Archbishop Lefebvre in 1987 and 1988. At that time the Archbishop proposed a far-reaching proposal for an agreement with which he wanted to arrive at a pragmatic interim solution which would have benefited the whole Church. The arrangement that the Archbishop was willing to sign at that time demanded far more concessions from the Society than what Pope Benedict demands at the moment.
Moreover, one has to realize how much false doctrines have spread throughout the Church. Even if a theological conciliation between Rome and the Fraternity would have been achieved, it could not be expected that by a word of command from the Pope all false doctrines would suddenly disappear from the face of the earth. Fr. Pfluger points to parallels in the history of the church: after the condemnation of Arianism, this false doctrine was still spread widely for quite some time, in some regions even for many decades. And even fifty years after the Council of Trent, the Archishop of Milan asks Rome for advice, for almost all of his clergy have wives and children. What is he to do? The response from Rome shows how the church reacts with wisdom and common sense in such situations: if he cannot replace the clergy, then he simply has to keep it.
The relentless reinforcing of Tradition
The acknowledgement of the Society would, after all, be an official confirmation of the importance of Tradition, something that would be very important and influential throughout the Church. And it would rectify the injustice of her stigmatization. Is there not a danger of hostile local bishops using the arrangement to fight and impede further working of the Fraternity? Against this foreseeable argument the First Assistant holds the development of recent years: the movement in the direction of Tradition and mainly the wish of young priests to say the Old Mass has become unstoppable, despite intimidation and oppression. In fact, this movement is now so strong that the Fraternity will be able to resist such claims from modernist Bishops.
The audio file of this conference is available for download here. (Translator's note: this text is really not as comprehensive as the speech given by Father Pfluger itself and it lacks the tone of the address. If you understand German, please take two hours to get a good picture of what is going on between Rome and Menzingen.)
[Translation by "The Anonymous Translator®"]
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So they’re more Catholic than the Pope, and the Magesterium means nothing to them?
Uh, no and no. Why would you say that?
Pope is the one doing this. How can the Pope be more Catholic than the Pope?
The Magesterium means nothing to him?
How is he demonstrating the Magisterium means nothing to him, by reaching an agreement with this group? Maybe he is, but I haven’t heard a specific reason.
That was TIC! (My sarcasm tag was missing, sorry.)
I read this earlier. I’m glad to read things like this; the agreement is a needed one. I wish my German was still better than iffy, but it’s been way too many years. And this is one of those where Father Z’s phrase comes to mind: His Holiness is the Pope of Christian Unity. Deo Gratias, and keep praying.
Excellent. It cannot be overstated how much we all owe the SSPX and this Pope.
Relevant: Pope’s decision “before the end of May”
From the French-language religious news agency I.Media:
Benedict XVI’s decision regarding the return of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX) to the full communion of the Church will take place from now up to the end of the month of May 2012, Vatican sources close to the dossier have indicated to I.MEDIA. For the moment, the response of the SSPX to the “doctrinal preamble” prior to any agreement, delivered by Rome in September 2011, is still being studied by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Received on April 17, the response of the Superior General of the SSPX, Bp. Bernard Fellay, will be submitted to Benedict XVI afterwards. The latter has made multiple gestures, since 2005, with a view to obtain an agreement that would mark the end of a breach of nearly 24 years.
[Source: I.Media Facebook page, in French; tip: Le Salon Beige]
I am hoping for a reconciliation!! I attend the novus ordo in a very liberal diocese and would love the choice of the SSPX mass but right now don’t feel comfortable doing that until they reconcile with the Pope. This would be good news for me, as I see how off the “new” theology is and yet I am not a sedevacantist - so have felt in limbo, this would be great. I do attend the Latin mass that the diocese has approved, once in a while, but the teaching/homilies, etc. seem to match the novus ordo watered down doctrine so this would really be a major blessing.