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.
On the other hand, SSPX might get a better deal from another pope - or the next after that, as the Vatican II generation is replaced by more orthodox people.
SSPX has said they need 1) acknowledgement that an indult is not necessary, since Pius V approved the Mass for perpetuity; and 2) revocation of the excommunications, which would follow pretty much anyway from 1.
It appears that some SSPX priests, in the birthplace of the SSPX, are not willing to take that chance.
The problem in the SSPX, and I see it as its biggest problem is the cult of personality that surrounds Bp. Williamson. The venom that this man poured on Campos was disgusting.
The bishop or cardinal in charge of such matters, I cannot recall his name, said of Campos, that they were given
special status because they had been in schism by setting up parallel structures, whereas SSPX is not. I guess that is a clue to how things work.
What would the bishops do if the pope announced that an indult was not necessary? Resign? Go into schism? What?
Javais dabord pensé écrire ici une lettre ouverte à Mgr Fellay, sorte dépilogue à ce terrible été qui, après 31 ans de soutane et 25 ans de sacerdoce par, dans et pour la Fraternité, ma exclu comme un malfaiteur sans même oser le dire : « Vous serez considéré comme nappartenant plus », quel courage. Mais les cicatrices de ces deux mois denfer ecclésiastique sont là, ouvertes, béantes, pleines de sang et de sueur. Je risquerais des formules irrespectueuses. Il ne le faut absolument pas. Mgr Fellay a cru son Autorité personnelle attaquée ; il na vu que cela, il ne voit encore que cela. Quant à moi, je suis blessé, dégoûté mais rassurez-vous plus résolu que jamais et quelques semaines de calme donneront à la réponse que je dois absolument à Mgr plus de sérénité, de profondeur et de vérité.
Cest donc à vous que je préfère madresser. Pour vous redonner courage, dans cette persécution que vous subissez : « Aussi bien, tous ceux qui voudront vivre pieusement dans le Christ Jésus auront à subir persécution » (saint Paul à Tim.). Lapôtre savait aussi que les souffrances viennent parfois des faux frères. Il ne voulait pas que ses propres difficultés affectent ses fidèles : « Ne vous laissez pas troubler par les souffrances que jendure pour vous : elles sont votre gloire ».
Fidèles de Bordeaux ou dailleurs, relevez donc la tête ! Vous avez été et vous êtes merveilleux à nos côtés. Vous avez démontré à la face du monde où était le respect pour le sacerdoce et le sacerdoce en herbe, les séminaristes. Vous avez démontré aussi avec nous que lAutorité, toute divine quelle soit, ne peut jamais être sa propre fin et ne viser, dans son exercice, quà se préserver elle-même. Vous avez démontré que la Fraternité Saint Pie X ne peut ni ne doit devenir ce que nous lavons vu cet été : une zone de non droit, darbitraire de crispation autoritaire, de violence même.
Vous avez affiché votre intention de la défendre, coûte que coûte, contre elle-même, pour lui rappeler ses origines « essentiellement apostolique ( art. 2 des statuts )», par et pour le sacerdoce, dans la charité de son incomparable fondateur dont nous faisons nôtre la devise : « Credidimus Caritati ». Oui, nous croyons encore à la charité et au souffle de lEsprit Saint pour que des frères darmes et des soldats du Christ (Tim.), au lieu de se déchirer et de sexclure, bâtissent et construisent ensemble. De la phrase de Jérémie (1, 9- 10), ils nont retenu que le début et oublié la fin : « Vois, je tai établi en ce jour sur les nations et les royaumes, pour arracher et pour abattre, pour bâtir et pour planter ». Arracher et abattre, sûrement pas des frères. Mais plutôt bâtir et planter toujours avec ses frères.
Jai dit à Monsieur labbé de Cacqueray, le soir du dimanche 15 août : « Monsieur labbé, je ne vous connaissais pas tant dénergie et de capacité. Jen ai été admiratif. Si depuis deux ans, vous les aviez utilisées à maider, me soutenir et mencourager à Bordeaux, on nen serait pas là ». Quand je lis dans les revues sous la plume des abbés Lorans, Célier (dont la tête est réclamée par Chiré en Montreuil, ce qui explique son zèle soudain à me pourfendre ) et de Cacqueray que tout a été entrepris pour sauver votre serviteur, jéclate de rire. A part : « Enlevez vos recours, et partez au Mexique », je nai rien, absolument rien entendu dautre. Cest quand même fort de café ! Le ridicule ne tue plus personne, pas même labbé Lorans, ce vieil ami que je croyais plus fier
Alors, chers fidèles, si vous me comprenez bien, ne regardez pas les difficultés locales présentes ; elles sont le prix à payer pour la grande victoire que nous avons dores et déjà remportée ensemble. Rien ne sera comme avant, les remises en question vont bon train. Je suis au fond très fier de vous. Saint-Eloi vit, prospère, et la Fraternité peut et doit suivre. Que mes ennemis sachent que je leur pardonne de tout coeur ; cest pour eux que jai fait tout cela et non pour moi (quavais-je à y gagner ? ) ; et sils mont pris pour un adversaire à abattre, je les considère toujours comme des frères à conforter.
Abbé Philippe Laguérie
French? If you could translate, it would help.
GO GO Babelfish - I don't have time to do it by hand:
Once is not habit, association publishes today the entirety of the parochial bulletin Mascaret of septembre/octobre 2004.
I had initially thought of writing here a letter open to Mgr Fellay, kind of epilogue at this terrible summer which, after 31 years of cassock and 25 years of priesthood by, in and for Fraternity, excluded me like a criminal without very daring the statement: " You will be regarded as not belonging more... ", which courage. But the scars of these two months of ecclesiastical hell are there, open, open, full with blood and sweat. I would risk disrespectful formulas. It is absolutely not needed. Mgr Fellay believed its attacked Personal authority; it saw only that, it sees yet only that. As for me, I am wounded, disgusted - but you reassure more solved than ever - and a few weeks of calms will give to the answer which I absolutely owe in Mgr more serenity, of depth and truth.
It is thus with you that I prefer to address myself. To give again you courage, in this persecution which you undergo: " As well, all those which will want to live piously in Jesus Christ will have to undergo persecution " (holy Paul with Tim.). The apostle also knew that the sufferings come sometimes from the "false friends". He did not want that its own difficulties affect its faithful: " you do not let disturb by the sufferings which I endure for you: they are your glory ".
Faithful of Bordeaux or besides, thus raise the head! You were and you are marvellous at our sides. You showed with the face of the world where was the respect for priesthood and priesthood out of grass, seminarists. You as showed with us as the Authority, very divine as it is, can never be its own end and not aim, in his exercise, that to preserve itself. You showed that Fraternity Black and white Saint X cannot nor should not become what we saw it this summer: a zone of nonright, arbitrary of authoritative crispation, violence even.
You posted your intention to defend it, costs which costs, itself counters, to point out its origins to him " primarily apostolic (art. 2 of the statutes)", by and for priesthood, in the charity of its incomparable founder of which we do ours the currency: " Credidimus Caritati ". Yes, we still believe in the charity and the breath of the Holy Spirit so that brothers in arms and soldiers of Christ (Tim.), instead of tearing and to be excluded, build and build together. Sentence of JÃ©rÃ©mie (1, 9 10), they retained only the beginning and forgot the end: " , I See established you in this day on the nations and the kingdoms, to tear off and cut down, build and plant... ". To tear off and cut down, surely not brothers. But rather to build and always plant with his/her brothers.
I said to Mister the abbot of Cacqueray, the evening of Sunday August 15: " Mister the abbot, I did not know you such an amount of energy and capacity. I was admiring. If for two years, you had used them to help me, support me and to encourage me in Bordeaux, one would not be there ". When I read in reviews under feather of abbots Lorans, CÃ©lier (of which the head is claimed by ChirÃ© in Montreuil, which explains its sudden zeal with me pourfendre...) and of Cacqueray that all was undertaken to save your servant, I burst of laughing. With share: " Remove your recourse, and leave to Mexico ", I, absolutely nothing did not understand anything of other. It is nevertheless strong of coffee! The ridiculous one does not kill anybody any more, not even the Lorans abbot, this old friend whom I believed prouder...
Then, expensive faithful, if you include/understand me well, do not look at the local difficulties present; they are the price to be paid for the great victory which we gained right now together. Nothing will be like front, the handing-over in question go good train. I am at the very proud bottom of you. Saint-Eloi saw, thrives, and Fraternity can and must follow. That my enemies know that I forgive them of any heart; it for them that I did all that and not for me (which did have I is to gain there? ); and if they took to me for an adversary to cut down, I always regard them as brothers to be consolidated.
Abbot Philippe LaguÃ©rie
Here ya go!
Rome, 13 septembre 2004 (Apic) Face a la grave crise qui agite la fraternité sacerdotale Saint-Pie X - séparée de Rome - le Saint-Siège affirme ne pas pouvoir faire de commentaires officiels, ni proposer d'aide légale en raison de l'absence de liens juridiques existant entre elle et la fraternité dirigée par Mgr Bernard Fellay. Consultés lundi par l'Apic, les milieux proches du dossier affirment cependant qu'il est toujours possible pour les prêtres qui le désiraient, d'intégrer l'unité de l'Eglise catholique.
Les autorités de la Fraternité Saint-Pie X ont rendu un jugement d'expulsion à l'encontre des abbés Laguérie, responsable de la paroisse de Saint-Eloi à Bordeaux (France), et Héry son "avocat", le 5 septembre 2004. L'abbé Laguérie avait écrit une lettre à une quarantaine de ses confrères, décrivant la situation catastrophique de certains séminaires de la fraternité, comme ceux d'Ecône ou de Zaitzkoffen. Concernant le séminaire d'Ecône, sur une promotion de 15 séminaristes, seul un prêtre devrait être ordonné en 2005.
Dans sa lettre, l'abbé Laguérie, prêtre de cette communauté depuis 25 ans, dénonce "une surenchère à la sévérité et à l'autorité qui pourrait mettre la fraternité dans une situation grave".
Mgr Bernard Fellay qui dirige la fraternité, au moins jusqu'aux prochaines élections prévues en 2006, a condamné cette remise en cause, et sanctionné l'abbé, lui proposant de s'exiler au Mexique. Ce que l'intéressé a refusé.
En attendant, à Rome, on observe avec "tristesse" cette situation de crise interne et de scission. Dans les milieux proches du dossier, on explique que "cette petite Eglise indépendante se trouve devant un constat d'échec" et "devant une situation bloquée". On ajoute: "Il n'y a pas d'instance supérieure leur permettant de faire appel suite à cette décision d'expulsion", qui a été prise "à la manière militaire d'un autre siècle". Cette situation de dissidence est "relativement courante", affirme-t-on encore, "en particulier aux Etats-Unis où se forment ainsi des petites congrégations sans attaches".
Dialogue et souplesse
Au Vatican, on affirme aussi qu'il est "toujours possible de faire en sorte que les prêtres dits 'vagui' - c'est à dire sans mission canonique et sans incardination - soient intégrés dans l'unité de l'Eglise". On précise aussi que les prêtres séparés du Saint-Siège qui souhaitent entrer dans le giron de l'Eglise doivent prendre "une attitude filiale vis-à-vis du successeur de Pierre", et accepter "de dialoguer souplement avec les évêques". Inversement, on insiste aussi sur la souplesse du Saint-Siège et sur "le désir d'unité" qui doit primer.
La création d'un oratoire de Saint-Philippe Néri en Allemagne est donnée en exemple. Créée au mois de mai 2004, cette institution a pu voir le jour avec la collaboration de la commission du Saint-Siège "Ecclesia Dei", et de l'archevêché de Berlin. Le prêtre, les diacres et les séminaristes qui composent cet institut viennent d'Ecône, l'un des séminaires de la Fraternité. On souligne encore que dans le diocèse de Campos, au Brésil, où la fraternité Saint-Jean-Marie-Vianney est revenue sous l'autorité de Rome en janvier 2002, "la situation est très bonne, la collaboration fonctionne bien dans le diocèse, et un évêque voisin lui demande même des prêtres et des collaborations".
While the Holy See affirms they are not able to officially comment, nor propose legal assistance, they do affirm though that it is always possible for the priests who so wish, to be reunited with the catholic church. The Vatican also affirms it is still possible for those priests - in other words without canonical mission and without incardination - to be integrated into the unity of the church. More precisely, the priests, separated from the Holy See who wish to return to the church must take a filial attitude vis-a-vis the successor of Peter and accept to speak freely with the bishops.
Conversely, one also insists on the flexibility of the Holy See and the desire of unity which must precede. The creation of an oratoire of St. Philip Neri in Germany, is given as an example. Created in the month of May 2004, this institution saw the light of day with the collaboration of Ecclesia Dei and the archbishop of Berlin. The priest, deacons and seminarians who make up this institut come from Econe, one of the SSPX seminaries. We remind also that in the diocese of Campos, Brazil, where the fraternity of St. Jean Marie Vianney was restored under the authority of Rome, in January 2002, the situation is very good, the collaboration works well in the diocese and a nearby bishop is asking for priests and other assistance.
I don't see how.
Babelfish translations are hilarious!
I think the expulsion of Fr. Aulagnier and the SSPX's increased intransigence and hate-filled anti-Papal rhetoric since have demonstrated that the SSPX is simply not interested in reconciling with a fully orthodox and legitimate Supreme Pontiff. I pray that they would see sense, but I am not hopeful.
I am no authority on this. How is things done in Campos?
Huh? I think you have this backwards.
There is no fear that SSPX was right. If it splinters, it goes the way of most schisms. Splintered or not, it is irrelevant to Roman Catholicism unless and until it submits in humility to His Holiness. Otherwise, it remains in outer darkness.
SSPX is in no position to make demands. The door is open to them if they wish to return to the Church but the pope has no obligation to purport to bargain away the powers and authority of the papacy in order to reward illicit and excommunicated bishops, any more than Pope St. Pius V had the authority to bind his successors on prudential matters such as banning any changes of liturgy as he purported to do in Quo Primum.
Good point. I pray that the hearts of the rock-solid conservatives be softened and that they return to Christ's Church.
And yes, I also pray that Rome be much more faithful to the truth than it has been lately.
May they be one.
Just a note - the language in "Quo Primum" was usual for pontifical documents of that time. It was never meant to impose an obligation on Pius' successors - he knew very well that he could do no such thing.
Here we go again. Please cite exactly where the current Pope has departed from Catholic doctrine, in other words, where the Pope has reversed any defined dogma or any teaching of the ordinary and universal magisterium on the Deposit of Faith as contained in Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
On the OTHER thread pertinent to this affair, it was stated that some Diocesan tribunal HAD stepped in.
Evidently the fog and smoke is quite thick.
Well, they refuse to allow altar girls.