SSPX: Pope Sets Impossible Conditions

SSPX: Pope Sets Impossible Conditions

For the record: Cardinal Müller’s letter to Bishop Fellay on the necessary conditions for “full re-establishment of communion” with the SSPX

Last weekend, as rumors swirled of Cardinal Müller’s imminent dismissal from his post as Prefect of the CDF, the French website Medias-Presse.Info published what it claimed to be an excerpt from an important letter sent by the Cardinal to Bishop Bernard Fellay regarding the conditions for an accord between the Vatican and the SSPX. Today the Remnant published an English translation of this excerpt; we reproduce the entire Remnant article below, followed by a note on the 1988 Professio Fidei mentioned in it.  

Rorate’s own sources have confirmed the authenticity of this text. 

Cardinal Müller’s Letter to Bishop Fellay 

From comes the following excerpt of a letter from Cardinal Müller to Bishop Bernard Fellay. According to, Cardinal Müller’s letter was communicated to all SSPX members by the SSPX General House. 

Excerpt from Cardinal Müller’s letter: 

“As you know, Pope Francis has many a time manifested his benevolence towards your Priestly Society, granting, in particular, to all priest members the faculty of confessing the faithful validly and by authorizing local Ordinaries to grant licences for the celebration of the marriages of the faithful who follow the pastoral activity in your Society. Furthermore, discussions are continuing concerning questions relative to the full re-establishment of the communion of your Society with the Catholic Church. 

In relation to this, with the approbation of the Sovereign Pontiff, I judged it necessary to submit to the Ordinary Session of our Congregation (which met on May 10 last) the text of the doctrinal Declaration which was transmitted to you during the meeting of June 13, 2016, as the necessary condition in view of the full re-establishment of communion. Here are the unanimous decisions of all the members of our Dicastery in this regard: 

1) It is necessary to require the adhesion of the members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to the new formula of the Professio Fidei dating from 1988 (c.f. annexe). Consequently, it is not sufficient to ask them to express the Professio Fidei of 1962. 

2) The new text of the doctrinal Declaration must contain a paragraph in which the signatories declare in an explicit manner their acceptance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and those of the post-conciliar period, by granting to said doctrinal affirmations the degree of adhesion which is due to them. 

3) The members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X must recognize not only the validity, but also the legitimacy of the Rite of the Holy Mass and of the Sacraments, according to the liturgical books promulgated after the Second Vatican Council.” adds that Cardinal Müller concluded the letter saying that “during the Audience granted to the Cardinal Prefect on May 20 2017, the Sovereign Pontiff approved these decisions”. The French website also adds that in his accompanying letter to SSPX priests, Father Christian Thouvenot, Secretary General of the SSPX, recalled the words of Bishop Fellay after the meeting of the major superiors in Anzère, Switzerland, on June 28 2016: 

“The Society of Saint Pius X does not seek primarily a canonical recognition, to which it has a right because it is Catholic. The solution is not simply juridical. It pertains to a doctrinal position which it is imperative to manifest […] Divine Providence will not abandon Its Church whose head is the Pope, Vicar of Jesus Christ. That is why an incontestable sign of this restoration will reside in the signified will of the Sovereign Pontiff to grant the means for re-establishing the order of the Priesthood, the Faith and Tradition – a sign which will be, furthermore, the guarantor of the necessary unity of the family of Tradition”.  Source – Rorate Caeli


This news is as disappointing as it is worrying.  A one-liner comment on an American blog sums up the problem of the schismatic mentality which has become rooted in the souls of some SSPX affiliates who rejoice each time a “deal” falls through:  A deal breaker.  Thank God!  wrote one USA blogger. 

Clearly, Bishop Fellay cannot compromise – that’s a given.  But that there seems no end in sight (humanly speaking) to the irregular situation in which the crisis in the Church has placed the SSPX, is surely no cause for rejoicing – is it?

Comments (71)

  • sarto2010

    It is a cause for rejoicing: does Bp. Fellay really want to join the club of Coccopalmerio, Ricca, Cupich, Kasper, Fonlupt, Bergoglio? Really? Really?? This “noeud de vipères”? Fellay will surely be heaving one long sigh of relief. He has had a narrow escape. He should immediately consecrate four more bishops and continue educating and ordaining priests.

    July 6, 2017 at 11:30 pm
    • editor


      That’s one (a tad faithless, if I may say so, and just did) way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that Bishop Fellay may have been able to influence the club of Coccopalmerio, Ricca, Cupich, Kasper, Fonlupt, and Pope Francis. The God of Surprises, remember?

      July 7, 2017 at 10:29 am
      • Prognosticum

        I agree wholeheartedly.

        July 8, 2017 at 12:46 am
  • Margaret USA

    Dear Madame Editor,

    Please forgive me but quite frankly I’m happy that it didn’t go through. As I’ve posted elsewhere, the SSPX needs to be VERY CAREFUL in dealing with Rome. The SSPX has chapels, churches, converts, monasteries, priories, schools, Brothers, Sisters, bishops, priests and dedicated laity who generously give their time, talents and treasure (I.e. $$$, £££ etc) to support the SSPX. That’s money that’s NOT going into diocesan coffers or Peter’s Pence.

    Imho, this is the REAL reason why the Vatican wants to make a deal with the SSPX. Remember the FFI? Lay people actually own the properties NOT the FFI. The Vatican wants control of all those properties. (Hilary White wrote about this in the Remnant and I think it was also posted on their website).

    Remember Campos? Bishop Fellay begged the SSJV NOT to make a deal with the Vatican. They did anyway and Bishop Rifan was soon seen concelebrating the NO.

    What about the decree last year that radically changed religious life? That would affect the Sisters of the SSPX, the traditional religious communities affiliated with the SSPX and possibly the Brothers too.

    Remember the old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: The SSPX should not even THINK of regularization until the next pontificate.

    That’s my .05 for now.

    Yours in Christ the King,


    July 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm
    • editor

      Margaret USA,

      I really don’t think Bishop Fellay would need Hilary White to inspire him to make sure all SSPX properties remain safely under the Society’s control. I even suspect he would be able to do that without using crude language in the process.

      All that you outline, the dangers, I consider to be well within Bishop Fellay’s intellectual grasp, and perfectly competent to avoid. He has assured us a million times that he will not compromise on essentials. I take that as a given.

      But I dislike intensely – and will never adopt myself – the ghetto mentality of rejoicing when regularisation is put on further hold.

      As for the next pontificate… What if that one is as bad, or worse, than this one? What then? We remain “outside the walls” indefinitely? That’s exactly what the modernists want and what delights the half-baked Theology for Dummies School led by the likes of Michael Voris who still consider the Society to be “in schism”. And, worse, it’s what too many of the Society faithful want – many of them don’t even want to see newcomers adding to their congregation! Truly, the schismatic spirit – about which Archbishop Lefebvre worried – HAS set in to many souls; sorrow, not rejoicing, should fill our hearts when we hear of these failed “deals”.

      July 7, 2017 at 10:35 am
      • Lily

        ” sorrow, not rejoicing, should fill our hearts when we hear of these failed “deals”.

        I completely agree. I can’t understand the people who love it when the talks with the Vatican fail.

        July 7, 2017 at 6:21 pm
  • RCA Victor

    I noticed a comment on the Eponymous Flower blog to the effect that this might remove the largest obstacle to regularization. Apparently the commenter failed to notice that ““during the Audience granted to the Cardinal Prefect on May 20 2017, the Sovereign Pontiff approved these decisions.”

    I don’t know how the 1988 Profession of Faith differs from the 1962 version, but as for the other two requirements: there are no new “teachings” of the Second Vatican Council, and the Novus Ordo was never actually promulgated, according to Father Gruner and others. Only the new Eucharistic Prayer options were promulgated. I’m also not clear on the difference between “validity” and “legitimacy.” In fact, the letter from Msgr. Pozzo that Editor just posted on another thread seems to cast much doubt on “legitimacy.”

    As for the schismatic mentality, I can affirm first-hand my own experience with this in our local SSPX chapel, which is infested with Feeneyites, sedevacantists, and probably still some “Resistance” sympathizers. It makes for a very unhealthy, fractured spiritual environment – and, unlike another (smaller) Society chapel with which I’m familiar, nothing is done about it. These heretics and schismatics either present themselves for Holy Communion week after week, or appear at Mass and do not receive, having just received at their own Feeneyite chapel – and nary a peep from the pulpit. Why? Moreover, they actually fancy themselves better Catholics than the rest of us!

    I think Bishop Fellay would do well to stop agonizing over what Rome intends to do – which, apparently, is to sing the same tired old tune until the sky falls in on them – and get his own house in order. And speaking of the same tired old tune, “the SSPX can do no wrong” is another one in that genre. I understand that it is difficult to keep order in a lifeboat, but the lifeboat is approaching cruiser size now, and something needs to be done about this.

    July 6, 2017 at 11:49 pm
  • RCA Victor

    To clarify my first sentence above, I meant that the removal of Cardinal Muller is considered by some to be the removal of the largest obstacle to regularization. While Cardinal Muller has repeatedly proven himself to be no friend of Tradition, and no friend of the SSPX, it is clear that Pope Francis is now playing the “I’ve scratched your back, now you scratch mine” game with these latest demands. Perhaps when that fails, he will resort to insults and threats, as he does with every other truly Catholic entity in the Church. It’s a good thing Francis doesn’t have nuclear weapons at his disposal; if he did he’d be another President of North Korea.

    Meanwhile, the internal affairs of the Society require much attention. Witness, for example, the recent suspension of nine French Priors after they decided to write their faithful a letter denouncing Cardinal Muller’s new arrangements for Society marriages.

    I think all this speculation about “deals” is fruitless. Not because Rome is in the hands of such spiritual criminals, not because the Society would be walking into a lion’s den, but because Rome is not going to change its conditions for regularization no matter who sits in the Chair of Peter – until the Consecration is done. It is the “powers behind the throne” that have Rome in their hands, not these conciliar Popes, and all they are going to do is to play the games they are told to play. A character from “Lord of the Rings” comes to mind: Wormtongue, the chief advisor to King Théoden of Rohan, who ensures that the King remains under the spell of Saruman.

    Who then is ensuring that the Popes remain under the spell of Freemasonry, aka the Synagogue of Satan? May the Passion of the Church soon reach its denouement.

    July 7, 2017 at 1:26 am
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I didn’t know about the nine French SSPX priors and I couldn’t see anything wrong with Cardinal Muller’s “new arrangements for Society marriages” – I saw them as a purely paper exercise, and potentially a way of preparing bishops to accept the SSPX “as is”. Maybe I was wrong in my interpretation but since I don’t recall any “condition” – merely a courtesy paper exercise so that the local diocese had a record of all marriages – that’s how I saw it. If I’ve been too charitable in my interpretation, please contact my confessor to tell him that my besetting sin is no more 😀

      In any case, back to those nine suspended priests; if only Bishop Fellay were as quick to act when his faithful contact him, by writing or in person, with justifiable concerns about the running of the local chapels, that would be great (not, moi, you understand but I know some who have done so); however, as I say below, that is a discussion for another day. In passing here, it is fine to mention, but let’s not get bogged down in the internal failings of the Society, given that, imperfect as the Society most certainly is, it’s still Divine Providence’s answer to the Second Vatican Council.

      July 7, 2017 at 10:27 am
      • RCA Victor


        Agreed on the internal affairs of the SSPX. Here is their article on the suspensions:

        Also, they were apparently relieved of their duties as deans, not priors.

        July 7, 2017 at 3:06 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Thank you for that – I copied the closing paragraphs in a spirit of “I told you so” – these people, priests and alleged faithful within the Society, who are all too anxious to scupper any and every development initiated by the Vatican, irritate the socks off me… So, well done Father Christian Bouchacourt:

        “The District Superior, Father Christian Bouchacourt, has relieved these signatories from their function as deans. He condemns this subversive act, prepared in secret, aimed to destabilize superiors and taking the faithful hostage.

        This painful trial reminds us that the fight for the Faith must be conducted in a spirit of faith, with supernatural means. United in prayer, let us keep the peace which is the “tranquility of order,” and let us fight generously, convinced that God alone will give the victory.”

        If only these nervous faithful had the spirit of faith, the supernatural instinct mentioned in the closing paragraph, they would be less ready to jump on the “this has to be bad” bandwagon, the minute there is any movement from the Pope. What kind of “faith” is that?

        July 7, 2017 at 3:27 pm
  • Lionel

    I feel sorry for Bishop Fellay!
    However, all this was predictable as they have not the same beliefs.
    The neo-protestants meeting at the fatal Council of Vatican II intended to substitute the “ecumenical church” for the Catholic Church which, according to them, will have to disappear!… Jean Guitton proclaimed it from the rooftops. They are interested only in religious syncretism; they want to create a “great universal brotherhood” from which Jesus Christ will finally be absent; they mix their false theories with a little orthodoxy, this in order not to frighten the faithful…
    They are manipulators, probably freemasons, and they will never be able to get along with honest people.
    Moreover, they have long despised the messages of the Blessed Virgin in Fatima transmitted by Sister Lucy, which speaks volumes…
    Please, think about it!

    July 7, 2017 at 8:03 am
  • gabriel syme

    The news is disappointing and, while I understand caution, in my opinion we should not rejoice at things “hitting the skids”.

    Regardless of what happens now, further progress has been made, in so far as no-one can continue to make false claims regarding the ability of SSPX priests to administer all sacraments. For me, this point provides “breathing space” and soothes the urgency felt to resolve the canonical question.

    Looking at the 3 main points of the letter, as reported:

    1) It is necessary to require the adhesion of the members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to the new formula of the Professio Fidei dating from 1988 (c.f. annexe). Consequently, it is not sufficient to ask them to express the Professio Fidei of 1962.

    I do not know the difference between these two professions of faith and whether or not this is indeed an obstacle (I would appreciate any comment / advice on this). On one hand, I understand why the SSPX would naturally use the 1962 version, but equally it makes obvious sense for all priests and faithful to use the same profession.

    I firmly believe the Church would be better off asking the majority of modern prelates and clergy to make professions of faith, rather than the SSPX. Why not start with Fr James Martin SJ?

    2) The new text of the doctrinal Declaration must contain a paragraph in which the signatories declare in an explicit manner their acceptance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and those of the post-conciliar period, by granting to said doctrinal affirmations the degree of adhesion which is due to them.

    This seems repugnant at first glance, but I am not sure that its as bad as it seems.

    I am no expert, but I do not believe Vatican II defined any new dogma and nor has the post-conciliar period. Was not the Assumption of Mary the most recent dogma to be defined by the Church (1950)?

    I think the piece in bold above is commensurate with what ++Pozzo has said previously, that not every aspect of Vatican II requires acceptance. The statement above does imply that not everything requires assent.

    Bishop Fellay said before that ~95% of Vatican II is acceptable, with the balance being the kind of modern waffle which ++Pozzo has acknowledged is not binding on the faithful.

    3) The members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X must recognize not only the validity, but also the legitimacy of the Rite of the Holy Mass and of the Sacraments, according to the liturgical books promulgated after the Second Vatican Council.”

    This is obviously a difficulty and it will be interesting to see how this can be resolved. From what I understand about what Pius V said about “his” rite of mass when codified, as well as the genesis of the new mass, I do not think this request from the authorities makes sense or has any validity itself.

    It simply isn’t the case that the new rite of mass is the equal of the traditional. The claim of Benedict XVI, that the two forms are only the same thing expressed differently, is undoubtedly the most bold and brass-necked statement I have ever heard. He is made that statement clinging to the notion of continuity, completely without reference to the reality of what the new mass has become.

    Its also hypocritical of the authorities to demand this, given the opprobrium many modern Bishops pour on the traditional mass at every opportunity. They previously lied to the faithful, that the mass was abolished or banned, and even today many studiously ignore it or work hard to undermine and suppress it.

    The more pressing point is that modern Bishops and clergy should recognise the legitimacy and worth of the traditional mass. And afford it, along with the communities it nourishes, some respect.

    Perhaps some progress could be made here, if the new mass could first be reformed such that it bore resemblance to what the V2 fathers asked for. I know there were malign forces at work at V2, but I also believe the vast majority of Bishops who participated would be disgusted to see what has become of the Church and the mass in the subsequent decades.

    Of course, the idea of reform of the new mass conjures the image of putting lipstick on a pig, but the authorities cannot be allowed to “pull a fast one” by presenting what passes for mass today as being the direct intention of Vatican II output.

    It is interesting to see how things seem to have shifted, from the authorities being formerly confident and authoritarian, to almost palpably begging the SSPX to give them a wink, as though to “cover their nakedness”.

    I am encouraged by the fact that, while there has been a negative reaction from the worthwhile sections of the Catholic media, there has been no knee-jerk response from the SSPX. I have not seen the letter mentioned on any SSPX website as yet.

    This shows that Bishop Fellay, prudent as ever, is taking his time to properly consider things. And the fact that the letter was sent to all SSPX priests shows that he is being open with his priests. He clearly cares deeply for SSPX cohesion and wants to take the Society forward as a whole.

    I remain confident in the leadership of +Fellay and the protection of Our Lord and Our Lady.

    July 7, 2017 at 9:02 am
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      I don’t have time to respond to your email in detail, so I am choosing a couple of points which I think require clarification.

      Firstly, the issue of “validity” of the new Mass is a red herring. Archbishop Lefebvre accepted that the new Mass is not invalid per se, although there are plenty of examples around of disgraceful “Masses” where I, for one, would question validity. So, that the new Mass is valid has not been question by the SSPX (although the ignorant/chattering classes do question it; however, they have no authority to speak for the Society. The position of the SSPX is that they do not challenge the validity of the novus ordo, of itself.)

      Legitimacy is a different thing. The novus ordo is licit only in a very limited way. One Latin American Bishop sent in dubia (doubts) to the Vatican to ask this question, in response to a question from a layman in his diocese: sending dubia is a tried and tested means of receiving a clarification from the Vatican.

      Below, the Bishop’s questions and the Vatican’s response to two dubia (doubts) submitted on behalf of a layman there, asking this very question about legitimacy.

      The Bishop asked two questions:

      (1) is the new Mass “legitimate” in the sense that it is permitted by the Church or
      (2) is it “legitimate” because it is neither doctrinally unorthodox or otherwise displeasing to God.

      Here is the (incredible) response of the Vatican:

      Pontificia Commissio Ecclesia Dei
      Prot. 156/2009
      Vatican City, 23 May 2012

      Your Excellency,

      This Pontifical Commission has received, via your Excellency’s good offices, a copy of a correspondence from [name blacked out] placing before the Commission two dubia as to the interpretation of article 19 of this Commission’s Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.

      The first [dubium] asked whether legitimas in UE, article 19, is to be understood as meaning:

      (a) Duly promulgated by appropriate procedures of ecclesiastical law (ius ecclesiasticum); or

      (b) In accord with both ecclesiastical law and divine law (ius divinum), that is, neither doctrinally unorthodox nor otherwise displeasing to God.

      This Pontifical Commission would limit itself to saying that legitimas is to be understood in the sense of 1(a).

      The second [dubium] is responded to by this answer.

      With the hope that Your Excellency will communicate the contents of this letter to the individual concerned, this Pontifical Commission takes this opportunity to renew its sentiments of esteem.

      Sincerely yours in Christ

      Mons. Guido Pozzo
      Secretary END.

      In other words, the new Mass is “licit” only because the Church permits it. Not because it is pleasing to God, so it stands to reason that there can be no obligation on Catholics to attend any Mass that even the Vatican will not affirm as wholly doctrinally orthodox and pleasing to God.

      As for “[the SSPX] acceptance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and those of the post-conciliar period, by granting to said doctrinal affirmations the degree of adhesion which is due to them.”

      It is now well established that the Second Vatican Council declared no new doctrine and chose deliberately to remain on the level of a purely pastoral Council. Hence, the exhortations to ecumenism and religious liberty remain on the level of purely pastoral advice which we may take or leave as we choose. I choose to leave and so does the SSPX.

      So, much of the guff in Cardinal Muller’s letter to Bishop Fellay is gobbledegook.

      It is disappointing that the Vatican is doing everything possible to prevent the regularisation of the SSPX because the Church needs the SSPX right now, which is what those who are rejoicing at this news do not seem to get.

      As for your concluding sentence – I would be more confident in the leadership of Bishop Fellay if he showed real leadership within the Society – but that is a whole different discussion! Emphatically, not for this thread, folks.

      July 7, 2017 at 10:20 am
      • Prognosticum

        I am sure that the Ecclesia Dei people would conclude that your ‘in other words’ is a non-sequitur in the sense that the Church would never promulgate a liturgy that was doctrinally unorthodox or otherwise displeasing to God.

        July 8, 2017 at 1:31 am
      • editor


        If the new Mass is wholly orthodox and pleasing to God, then there’s no problem. Close down the LMS and SSPX priests do what you are telt!

        July 8, 2017 at 11:52 am
  • Athanasius

    I suspect Pope Francis may have replaced Cardinal Muller precisely because of his known opposition to the SSPX. That Cardinal Muller declares Pope Francis to have approved and authorised his letter to Bishop Fellay means nothing in real terms. We’ll see how things develop under the new Prefect of the CDF.

    In the matter of those who rejoice whenever a deal with Rome falls through, I think it fair to say, giving them the benefit of the doubt, that they do not understand the nature of the Church. Neither do they understand the nature and purpose of the SSPX.

    The Church does not depend on Popes and prelates who sit in the highest places of authority, it depends on God and His providence. So regardless of what manner of Pope and Episcopal College holds sway, the SSPX must always weigh what is best for the Church and for souls.

    If the SSPX can secure full imunity and freedom within the paramenters of a personal prelature then it would be an act of schism to reject such an offer. If, however, the Vatican continues to insist as it has through Cardinal Muller, that the SSPX must accept things dangerous to Faith, then it is perfectly legitimate for Bishop Fellay to walk away from the negotiating table. But we must be absolutely clear: the SSPX cannot say no to the Pope and Church unless there is a very grave reason such as clear and present danger to Faith in any proposed agreement.

    It is the greatest hope of every true Catholic that the SSPX will soon be granted the Roman recognition it truly deserves. The only reason it hasn’t happened before now is because of Modernist conspirators in high places in the Vatican and elsewhere in the Church. They are the ones who have altered the Faith, not the SSPX, so they are the ones who need to recant their errors, not the SSPX. How can an institution which has altered nothing of the Faith handed down be branded “rebellious”? A five-year old can see through it.

    At any rate, when deals fall through because of these Modernist machinations in Rome it is no cause for joy for the true Catholic. Rather, it is cause to re-echo the lament: “how much longer, O Lord!”

    July 7, 2017 at 3:25 pm
    • Prognosticum


      This is one of those occasions on which one would prefer to be wrong, but I would bet my bottom dollar that Archbishop Ladaria’s and Cardinal Mueller’s assessment of both the Society and the conditions necessary for its regularization largely coincide.

      Now, that is not the same thing as saying that their assessment coincides with that of the Pope. Note that Mueller says in his letter that the matter in hand was submitted for the consideration of the General Session of the CDF with Papal approval. But nowhere does he appear to say that his letter to Bishop Fellay has the same Papal approval. I consider this to be hugely significant, but nowhere have I been able to source the date of Mueller’s letter. I would not be surprised in the least if the sending of this letter turned out to be the straw which broke the camel’s back in Cardinal Mueller’s strained relationship with Francis.

      Mueller and Ladaria view the question from the point of view of doctrine. Francis views it from the point of view of politics in which doctrine is only a hindrance. Thus he naturally tends to the view that nothing should be asked of the Society beyond what would have been asked of it in 1962. He just does not see the enormity of the doctrinal consequences of his position, for it would be tantamount to saying that Vatican II never took place.

      But there is a problem here. Francis loves his popularity above all else. Is he prepared to sacrifice his popularity with the ecclesial left (Schoenborn, Kasper, et al.) to bring about SSPX regularization?

      July 8, 2017 at 1:22 am
      • Athanasius


        You may be right about Cardinals Mueller and Ladaria sharing the same take on the SSPX. What makes me a little more dubious, though, is the fact that Cardinal Ladaria has been the Vatican go-between with the SSPX since 2009. Pope Francis will be aware of this fact, so it strikes me as at least feasible that Francis chose him specifically to clear the way for SSPX regularisation without strings.

        As you rightly say, Pope Francis operates more from politics than doctrine, but he also has this notion that pastors of souls must “smell of the sheep” and in his eyes, whatever the doctrinal objections, the priests of the SSPX minister to those on “the fringes”. This seems to impress him very much, so he may well risk upsetting the left-leaning German Episcopate in the pursuit of what he considers to be the central purpose of his Pontificate, namely, this vision of pastors working on the fringes. I also believe that he can be a very determined man when he makes his mind up about something. He’s no Pope Benedict XVI in this respect. I don’t think he’s the type to surrender to dissenting subordinates once he’s set his course.

        Having said all this, it is just possible that Cardinal Mueller was sacrificed to please the ecclesial left. The Cardinal did, after all make noises that he was not about to accept even a hint of admission to Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. That would not have gone down well with Cardinals Kasper, Schoenborn and other clerical revolutionaries. Time will tell.

        July 8, 2017 at 2:08 am
      • Prognosticum

        The go-between has actually been Archbishop Pozzo. Ladaria was more involved in the beginning but took more of a backseat after Pozzo returned to the Ecclesia Dei Commission from the Almoner’s Office.

        July 8, 2017 at 11:12 am
  • Steven C.

    The Society has now released this article on the subject:

    On another note, Bp. Fellay will be ordaining 9 priests today in the U.S. After the ordinations, there will be a magnificent torch-lit procession led by the Bishop in honour of Our Lady of Fatima. Deo Gratias.

    July 7, 2017 at 6:51 pm
    • editor

      Steven C,

      Thank you for that link. I have singled out the following extract. because it reveals the chaos underlying the Vatican-SSPX situation:

      “This letter from Cardinal Müller is no surprise to those who followed closely the history of the complicated relations between the Society and Rome. Already during a conference that he gave in Port-Marly, France, on October 8, 2016, Fellay underscored a contradiction between the remarks of Cardinal Müller and those of Pozzo, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission:

      “All of a sudden they go and tell us that what was produced by the Council but is not dogmatic, in other words, all the Declarations are not criteria for being Catholic, according to Archbishop Pozzo. What does this mean? ‘You are not obliged to agree in order to be Catholic.’…Archbishop Pozzo actually gave several interviews on the subject. I quoted for you the one in April (La Croix, April 7, 2016), then there were the ones in July (Zenit, July 4, 2016, and Christ und Welt, July 28, 2016). Between these two dates, in June, his superior, Cardinal Müller, said the contrary (Herder Korrespondenz, June 2016)….Cardinal Müller insisted, saying: ‘No, the Society must accept the whole Council!’ And he even spoke about unrestricted commitment with regard to ecumenism. But not only that…. He speaks about the liturgy, about religious liberty. And afterwards his subordinate repeats the contrary, in July. What disorder! Whom are we to believe?” (See DICI no. 432 dated October 14, 2016) “

      What a mess!

      July 7, 2017 at 7:23 pm
  • Petrus

    I agree. What a mess!

    There are definitely some who don’t want any kind of agreement. This is a faithless and schismatic position to take. I understand that people are nervous because they don’t want the SSPX to be infected with Modernism. However, Our Lord is in charge on His Church and the SSPX was formed to be of service to the Church. It would be a scandal for the SSPX to forget this. I’m confident that it wont.

    July 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm
    • Fidelis

      It really is a mess!

      The Church really needs the SSPX in the mainstream dioceses right now – things are steadily getting worse, so I think we need to pray hard that the replacement for Cardinal Muller is more clued up and that he can get an acceptable agreement with the SSPX sooner rather than later.

      Michael Voris is still hammering the Society and this latest news suits him down to the ground.

      Grrrrrr !

      July 7, 2017 at 8:53 pm
  • RCA Victor

    It would be truly ironic if a Pope Francis appointment, who is practically 100% guaranteed to be a rabid Modernist, were more favorable towards regularization than Card. Muller. Then again, Pope Francis, himself a rabid modernist, has been mostly favorable.

    This is a riddle wrapped in an enigma….

    July 7, 2017 at 11:02 pm
  • editor

    Some might say that I’m leading us slightly off topic here, but I can’t help thinking about the lack of care to enforce “conditions” of the most elementary kind in the Vatican – read this shocking report to see if you agree….

    Having read it, you may see why I posted it on this thread – I mean, DOES the Church need the SSPX like dinner needs salt, or what? Stop playing games, is the message to Cardinal Müller’s replacement, and get the SSPX “inside the walls” AS IS with no question about it, and let Michael Voris and similarly ignorant chatterboxes eat their hearts out!

    July 8, 2017 at 12:17 pm
    • RCA Victor


      One of our priests has stated repeatedly that Rome is infested with homosexuals….so along with the new Vatican II religion we have the new morality on full display. I’d say the Church needs the SSPX like the Church needs the Catholic Faith – desperately!

      No doubt Francis, or one of his thugs, will attempt to sweep this under the rug (with silence), but I have to wonder how much room is left under said rug….

      (I’m about to head to the airport to go on retreat, be back next week. Try not to miss me and my rants!)

      July 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        All very well said.

        But why on EARTH do YOU – Saint RCA Victor of Blogosphere – need to go on retreat? 😀

        Be assured, we WILL miss you – big time!

        Enjoy your retreat.

        July 8, 2017 at 1:33 pm
      • Therese

        Madam Editor

        As per your reply to RCA Victor, can it be true that he has gone on retreat without asking – and receiving – permission to be absent from this blog? How very dare he? I am shocked and disappointed.

        July 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm
      • editor


        Yes, the sheer cheek of it! I couldn’t believe it, myself. I had to put a brave face on it, though, but, between thee and me, he’ll see a difference in his next pay packet 😀

        July 9, 2017 at 11:36 pm
      • Lily

        RCA Victor,

        If you have to get on a plane to go on retreat, it must be bad over there, Are they no retreat houses where you live? LOL!

        July 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm
      • Margaret USA

        If I remember right, Bishop Williamson threw out a seminarian in Argentina because he was involved in homosexual activities. This was shortly before/after the lifting of the “excommunications”.

        To the best of my knowledge, the SSPX abides by the rules laid down by Pope John XXIII in not permitting men with same-sex attraction disorder to enter the seminary.

        What would happen to the SSPX seminaries if they were “regularized”? Would SSPX seminarians be subject to the same treatment as diocesan seminarians?

        Imho, this is another reason against a premature regularization.

        July 8, 2017 at 4:09 pm
      • editor


        I don’t think we can say it often enough and any more clearly the Bishop Fellay himself: Bishop Fellay has made very clear that he will NEVER change the position of the Society. Any “deal” is on that basis. He couldn’t have been clearer, so I am nonplussed at this continued anxiety on the part of those who fear the regularisation. “AS IS” means the Society will remain… AS IS!

        July 8, 2017 at 5:16 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Dear Madame Editor:

        To quote former President Bill Clinton (who I did NOT vote for):

        “That depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

        Source: Time magazine (to which I don’t subscribe)

        In any business contract, they always define the terms used. “You” means the user of the product/service. “We” refers to the company and its affiliates, employees. Then comes the clincher: “This agreement shall be binding on all parties. Any legal disputes will be governed by the laws of the United States of America Third Circuit Court which shall have sole jurisdiction.”

        Example: The SSPX holds to Tradition; VII speaks of “living Tradition”. Which definition of Tradition will prevail in a “regularization” agreement?

        If the SSPX and the Vatican can’t agree on the definition of Tradition let alone other terms used in an agreement, there’s no point in making an agreement until both sides adhere to the definition of the terms used.

        “You say ee-ther, and I say eye-ther,
        You say nee-ther and I say neither.
        Ee-ther, eye-ther; nee-ther, neither…”

        Unfortunately, we can’t sing the next line (apologies to George and Ira Gershwin).

        I still love you.

        In Christ the King,

        Margaret 😊🇺🇸

        July 8, 2017 at 7:54 pm
      • editor


        Would you quote anything – ANYTHING – that Bishop Fellay has said which causes you to worry that he is going to abandon the Faith and “go over” to “Modernist Rome”.

        I’ve been Googling and cannot find a thing. Quite the contrary, but clearly I’m missing something. Would you oblige by providing whatever evidence I’m missing that Bishop Fellay is so weak that he is going to fall for the Modernist “definitions” of “Tradition” etc and sell out?

        Thank you.

        July 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm
      • Lionel


        July 8, 2017 at 9:42 pm
      • editor


        I get so fed up reading these claims – it seems to be the raison d’etre of the Remnant blog, for example which is why I seldom visit these days – that Bishop Fellay is not to be trusted in the regularisation talks with Rome. Not a shred of evidence, and yet these fears are repeated over and over again. I just do not understand it.

        July 8, 2017 at 10:50 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Dear Madame Editor,

        I think you’re jumping to conclusions re the Remnant. It’s not that they don’t trust Bishop Fellay; it’s that (sad to say) the SSPX cannot trust Rome.

        This is what’s been going on in Rome:

        And here in the U.S.:

        This is what faithful Catholics have to tried to flee from for 40+ years.

        So please don’t shoot the messenger (I.e. the Remnant or yours truly).

        Yes, eventually the SSPX must be regularized but not now.

        In Christ the King,


        July 9, 2017 at 12:32 am
      • Athanasius

        Margaret USA

        The sins of men in the Church, no matter how grave, is no reason for those who serve God faithfully to run away and hide. Our Confirmation duty puts us on the front line, not in the rear guard. It is the business of the SSPX to do what they can to help the Church in crisis, to try to win souls back to holiness. Isolation will not achieve this goal, even if it is disguised as self preservation.

        The Church has always been afflicted by bad prelates and clerics, this is nothing new. In fact, more fail in many ways to live up to their high calling than succeed. This is fallen human nature and we can’t hide from it.

        I state again that if the SSPX is offered a personal prelature that protects it is far as can be expected from interference and compromise, then the duty of the SSPX is to accept and engage in its duty to help the Church in a more direct way than it has hitherto been permitted do.

        July 9, 2017 at 1:39 am
      • Athanasius

        Margaret USA

        “…eventually the SSPX must be regularized but not now.”

        I suspect Our Lord would take issue with this statement. He seems to have already done so in fact with this example from the Gospels warning against spiritual pride.

        “And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

        The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.”

        When exactly would you say the SSPX should regularise, if not now? What particular set of human circumstances (for there is not much consideration of God’s will in any of the online debates today) would make the time right for a reconciliation?

        The Church has had bad Popes in the past, as well as bad bishops, bad priests and bad religious. The devil knows about fallen human nature and so he will happily provide you and others with numerous examples of present clerical failings and scandals if it keeps trust in God at bay and helps engender discord and division.

        It is not our place to decide when the Pope and the Bishops are Catholic enough for us to engage more actively for the good of the Church. Who and what do we make ourselves when we think like that?

        Our sole duty as Catholics is to publicly resist the Pope and the hierarchy (with respect) if and when they place the faith in danger. At all other times we must obey them as the lawful authorities in the Church. We must also pray for them and do all that we can to encourage them and others to turn away from the poison of Modernism.

        If we constantly speak of not trusting the Pope and the hierarchy, citing present scandals and old wounds as our reason for writing them off as beyond help, then what becomes of the Church and Our Lord’s promise? What does it do to the apostolate of SSPX?

        We all need more supernatural charity to see beyond the human element. Our Lord does not think as men think! The mission of the SSPX, the reason for its existence, is to help the Church during this crisis, not hide fearfully in isolation waiting for some kind of miraculous event that gives the green light for reconciliation. This is delusional, not at all in keeping with how God operated to resolve other periods of crisis in Church history.

        July 10, 2017 at 11:16 pm
      • Margaret USA


        In the Byzantine Tradition, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee is the same day as Septugesima on the TL calendar.

        During the week between the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and the. Sunday of the Prodigal Son, the tradition of our Church is to have no fasting. This also may teach us humility; by not fasting during this week we should learn that fasting in itself is not meritorious. Fasting is only a part of Lent; prayer, almsgiving, and, above all, humble repentance are all far more important than fasting.

        Excerpt from Our Paschal Pilgrimage. A Guide for the Great Fast for Ukrainian Catholics by Bishop Basil Losten

        My eyes are weighed down by my transgressions,
        and I cannot lift them up and see the height of heaven.
        But receive me, Saviour, in repentance as the Publican
        and have mercy on me.


        Your post will be the first in my favorite CT posts file.

        Yours in Christ the King,


        July 12, 2017 at 3:26 am
      • editor


        Well said. When, indeed, would the time be right for the Society to regularise.

        From my reading of those who oppose Bishop Fellay entering into any agreement, it seems they want to wait until the crisis is over and then, like pseudo-knights-in-shining-armour, come rushing in to …. well, to do what?

        It’s like the police and fire brigade waiting until the danger has passed before going into rescue people in a burning building. Crazy. Indeed, right after the recent horrific fire in the London tower block, there were complaints that the fire brigade took too long to respond when, in fact, they were there within minutes. Fat lot of use any emergency service is, if the personnel wait until the emergency is over.

        Self-evidently, we need the SSPX within the walls asap.

        July 10, 2017 at 11:33 pm
      • Athanasius


        Yes, we do need the SSPX within the walls just as soon as possible, with certain assurances of course.

        The example I used over at the Remnant was to imagine a deadly disease spreading in pandemic fashion to every corner of the globe and all the doctors refusing to treat the sick for fear of becoming infected themselves.

        That’s kind of what they’re saying when they warn of Modernist infection should the SSPX reconcile with Rome. It’s really selfishness.

        July 10, 2017 at 11:57 pm
      • editor


        Despite scrolling twice, and reading all of your other comments over at The Remnant, I couldn’t find the one with the disease analogy, but not to worry – good analogy.

        I replied to Julius who misunderstood your comment about criticising the Church. I wrote:

        Trust, me, [Athanasius] knows perfectly well that bad popes happen today as in the past. Popes John Paul II and Benedict were not good popes, any more than was Paul VI but those who (rightly) condemn the false teachings of Pope Francis seem to have amnesia when it comes to his immediate predecessors, let alone the bad popes of the past.

        What Martin was getting at – it seems to me – is that there must always be care not to give the impression that “Rome” – equated with “The Church” – has lost the Faith. That is not the case. Churchmen in Rome, popes and cardinals may have lost the Faith but not the perfect, spotless bride of Christ – His Church.

        Also, for the record, I believe Archbishop Lefebvre later modified the language he used in that early clip, and said something to the effect “when Rome calls, we go”. So, he would definitely NOT approve today of the schismatic mentality shown by so many who seem to think that “outside the SSPX there is no salvation.” END.

        I forgot that The Remnant moderates all comments so who knows if it will reach the blog. anyway, for the record, there it is. You owe me…

        July 11, 2017 at 11:08 am
      • Margaret USA

        Dear Madame Editor,

        With all due respect, if you think the comments are uncharitable at the Remnant (which has a dozen moderators besides MJM), then take a look at the two latest posts at 1P5 re the dismissal of Cardinal Muller. A lot of those comments wouldn’t make it past the Remnant moderators, and if they did, they’d be removed.

        At 1P5, Jafin helps Steve moderate comments. So far as I know, he’s the only one helping Steve. Occasionally I try to help him.

        A lot of people are really frustrated and vent on the internet (including yours truly on occasion). Should they be more charitable in their posts? Certainly.

        That’s my .05 for now. It’s almost 11 PM here in PA, and I need my beauty rest (which you’re getting now since it’s about 4 am on your side of the pond).

        In Christ the King,

        Margaret 🇺🇸

        July 12, 2017 at 3:53 am
      • Athanasius


        I read your response to Julius over at the Remnant blog and I appreciate the clarification you made. Thank you. Ihave just posted my own response to him.

        The comment with the medical analogy is actually on another thread at the Remant, it’s not that important. I have just noticed that a response I made to someone last night has not got past moderation, it has disappeared.

        I’m a little worried about the bitter tone of many of the comments on the Remant blog, and shocked that Michael Matt would permit them. I’m also a little suspicious as to why my own comment highlighting this bitter zeal vanished without trace.

        If I could advise Michael Matt, it would be that he shut his blog down. It seems to have been largely taken over by those of schismatic mindset. I don’t think he realises that they do this kind of thing; they find blogs that tolerate their angry spirit and then take control of it. I’m really shocked that Michael has allowed this to happen.

        Imagine what would happen to this blog if you just let any old subversive have free reign. It would be in the hands of schismatics and sedes in no time at all. Something has gone wrong over at the Remnant on the prudence and discernment front and its very worrying.

        July 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm
      • editor

        Margaret, USA,

        I don’t think I’ve ever complained about lack of charity over at The Remnant – my own lack of charity makes me very slow to condemn others for the same sin, so if I’ve used the word as a criticism of others, mea culpa.

        I think, however, that my remarks about the bloggers at The Remnant – on the subject of the SSPX regularisation – have been limited to criticising the overwhelming spirit of opposition to any such regularisation which is dominant there.

        It’s not about “charity” – it’s about being prepared to see Divine Providence at work in the situation, as it develops. Those who keep saying “no deal… no matter what, we can’t trust Rome”, appear to me to lack trust in the workings of Divine Providence, which includes trusting Bishop Fellay’s judgment. It’s not, I repeat, about “charity” in the sense that, I think, you mean. Of course, in the end, everything boils down to “charity” – that is, the love of God and the love of neighbour as a result of of our love of God.

        July 12, 2017 at 11:21 am
      • Margaret USA

        Dear Madame Editor,

        Here’s this:

        And this:

        Please note my remarks on both threads.

        Thank you!


        Margaret USA 😇 🇺🇸

        July 9, 2017 at 2:27 am
      • Lionel

        I agree with you; Bishop Fellay is doing his best in an extremely difficult situation.

        July 9, 2017 at 10:29 pm
      • Peadar Walsh

        Dear Editor,

        This is a long post, but it seems to me that there is a lot to say, so here goes…!

        The point which you seem to be missing is, not so much that Bishop Fellay is not to be trusted, but that Modernist Rome is not to be trusted!

        So many other orders have been recognised by Rome over the years since the Council, and all have (to a greater or lesser extent) compromised on their stance in relation to Vatican II. The best of these (The Institute of the Good Shepherd in France) is completely silent on Vatican II, the New Mass and the current Church scandals (as far as I am aware).

        Why is this? Because, once within the official structures which are currently occupied by Modernists, the pressure is, humanly speaking, too great to withstand. Bishop Fellay can have the best will in the world, but the Church is hierarchical and (as Archbishop Lefebvre said), it’s an illusion to think that you can fix all that from the inside.

        Look at the Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney in Campos, Brazil: they professed to be determined not to compromise when they were recognised. Within a short few years, their Superior General was concelebrating the New Mass! They have changed so much that they (apparently) don’t even refer to the existence of their founder, Bishop de Castro Mayer, on their official website!

        As Bishop Fellay said in 2009: “..The authority in the Church must recognise these deadly principles which have been paralysing the Church for 40 years. So long as this is not done, it is very difficult to think of a practical agreement. Why? Because when these are the principles which govern the Church, as soon as there is the least dispute, it will be resolved in the name of and by these bad principles. That means that a practical agreement in these circumstances is lost before it even starts…”

        July 11, 2017 at 9:12 pm
      • editor

        Pedar Walsh,

        “The point which you seem to be missing is, not so much that Bishop Fellay is not to be trusted, but that Modernist Rome is not to be trusted!

        I’m not missing that point at all – it’s the ONLY point which is ever made by the “no deal” brigade. That makes it not so easy to miss, believe me.

        I am well aware of the cases you list in your comment at and, at a wild guess, I’d say Bishop Fellay is well aware of them, too.

        The remedy is simple, and I believe Bishop Fellay is already onto it: the Society would be wise to ensure that all properties remain in its name and if pressure is exerted to force the SSPX into subjection to the principles of Modernism post-regularisation, then the Society simply returns to its former irregular status. Doesn’t take a genius to work that out.

        THAT is the point that seems to be missed by the “no deal” brigade. The nonsensical strategy of waiting until the crisis is over and order has been restored before the Society regularises, is just plain crazy. Makes the SSPX absolutely pointless. Indeed, and I hate to quote this, I once heard a Society priest saying (from the pulpit, when the so-called Resistance bunch were making their silly presence felt) that it may be that God will send another “lifeboat” to help bring this crisis to an end. It may not BE the Society that God uses. When I hear the terrified wails of the “no deal” brigade at every turn, I think, reluctantly, that he may well have a point.

        Certainly, if the ghetto mentality of so many SSPX-ers prevails, then God may well leave those in the ghetto to enjoy their isolation, as He puts Plan B into action.

        July 11, 2017 at 10:23 pm
      • Athanasius

        Peader Walsh

        The other institutions you refer to were all compromised before they started. They all went cap in hand to Rome asking for recognition from a point of weakness.

        The SSPX is exclusively different in that it approaches these negotiations with Rome from a point of strength. Bishop Felllay has laready stated that a canonical status is not the primary goal, but rather that the SSPX be accepted as it is and guaranteed immunity from interference. In this respect the SSPX is not compromised now, nor can it be in the future, assuming it keeps hold of its properties.

        I think the main worry for many people is that rather than help to win souls in the Church back to Tradition, SSPX priests may gradually become tainted with Modernist indifference and slowly lose the will to fight. Well yes, there is always that risk with some. I detect a sea change in some senior prelates in the Church, however, a defence of the Faith that has previously been lacking in them. I think the Francis Pontificate has forced many to reconsider the entire post-conciliar programme. If nothing else, this Pope has obliged many to finally open their eyes, if not yet their mouths. I have a feeling that Francis is the last of the Modernist Popes.

        In the meantime, Bishop Fellay alone must decide what is best for the SSPX. He will weigh that very seriously whatever the offer of the present Roman authorities. Let us not forget that the SSPX has friends in the hierarchy as well as enemies.

        Above all we must trust in God and definitely avoid angry voices on either side of the question. Our Lord is in charge of both His Church and the SSPX. I do not believe He will allow the latter to fall victim to the wicked machinations, if such is what they are, of Modernist conspirators in Rome.

        July 12, 2017 at 1:05 am
      • Athanasius

        Margaret USA

        It was not Bishop Williamson who threw out the homosexual seminarian, although the name of the priest/superior of the Argentine seminary at that time escapes me right now.

        July 9, 2017 at 1:25 am
      • Margaret USA


        Thank you for the clarification. Mea culpa.

        Margaret USA 😇🇺🇸

        July 9, 2017 at 2:29 am
      • Margaret USA


        Re what you said earlier:

        “The sins of men in the Church, no matter how grave, is no reason for those who serve God faithfully to run away and hide. Our Confirmation duty puts us on the front line, not in the rear guard. It is the business of the SSPX to do what they can to help the Church in crisis, to try to win souls back to holiness. Isolation will not achieve this goal, even if it is disguised as self preservation.

        The Church has always been afflicted by bad prelates and clerics, this is nothing new. In fact, more fail in many ways to live up to their high calling than succeed. This is fallen human nature and we can’t hide from it.

        I state again that if the SSPX is offered a personal prelature that protects it is far as can be expected from interference and compromise, then the duty of the SSPX is to accept and engage in its duty to help the Church in a more direct way than it has hitherto been permitted do.”

        I agree with you. However, even Our Lord had to flee:

        ….angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him. [14] Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: [15] That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son…

        [19] But when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt, [20] Saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child.

        [21] Who arose, and took the child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. [22] But hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep retired into the quarters of Galilee. [23] And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene.

        St. Matthew 2: 13-15; 19-23

        Re the personal prelature:

        I state again that if the SSPX is offered a personal prelature that protects it is far as can be expected from interference and compromise, then the duty of the SSPX is to accept and engage in its duty to help the Church in a more direct way than it has hitherto been permitted do.”

        Again, I agree with you. However, the problem is: Will the SSPX be protected from interference and compromise?

        Look at the knights of Malta. They are technically a sovereign, self-governing order, but Pope Francis ordered the grand master to reinstate the grand chancellor who was involved in the distribution of condoms. He then ordered the grand master (who tried to uphold church teaching) to resign.

        If this can happen to an order who before was in good standing with the Church, what’s to stop the Vatican from interfering in a SSPX personal prelature?

        Yes, we have to contend with fallen human nature and fallen men until judgement day. However, that doesn’t mean that one should be imprudent: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

        For the record, I’m not against regularization or a personal prelature. What I am against is rushing in prematurely. The SSPX needs to be VERY CAREFUL.

        May your holy namesake obtain from God through Our Lady all the graces necessary for Bishop Fellay and the entire SSPX to remain faithful to the Catholic Faith and the legacy of Archbishop Lefebvre.

        Yours in Christ the King,

        Margaret USA 😇🇺🇸

        July 9, 2017 at 4:10 am
      • Athanasius

        Margaret USA

        I think you may have misunderstood my point. Yes, the Holy Family fled and sought refuge in Egypt while the threat of Herod existed. But note that they returned to Nazareth as soon as the threat had lessened. I say lessened rather than lifted since the death of “Herod the Great” did not altogether remove the danger to the Holy Family, it only mitigated it.

        Likewise, the SSPX was forced by persecution to take itself outside the normal boundaries of Church authority insofar as that authority was being abused to force Modernist doctrines dangerous to Faith. But circumstances have since altered to the extent that the SSPX is no longer persecuted in Rome as it once was.

        We know danger still exists, for the SSPX has many enemies within the Church’s hierarchy. But the Pope and others have lightened their view of the SSPX and expressed a desire to see matters normalised.

        It is for Bishop Fellay and other qualified superiors within the SSPX to examine and consider the terms put to them by Rome. If they conclude that a particular proposal is as secure as is reasonably possible, then it is for them alone to make the call. The problem arises when lay people all over the Internet chime in with their opinions, often full of suspicion and lacking in charity, giving rise to bitter divisions. This is not the Catholic way.

        Please be assured that I am not remotely suggesting that you are part of that divisive element, you are not. I’m merely pointing out that it is for the legitimate authorities to weigh the situation by the light of grace given them, not for us lay people to decide when the time is or is not right for reconcilliation. I’m also saying that the SSPX superiors would be placing the Fraternity in grave danger of real schism if they resisted reconcilliation merely on the grounds of unfounded suspicion or fear. The only acceptable reason for rejecting a personal prelature would be if there existed a very real and demonstrable danger to Faith in the wording of an agreement text, or insufficient safeguards to protect the Society from malicious prelates.

        Your point about the Knights of Malta in this regard does not compare. The only reason the Knights of Malta suffered as they did is because neither they nor their superior resisted the abuse of authority that attempted to suppress them. They just bowed the head and bent the knee without fidelity to truth and justice. There was also no little conspiring going on within that Order to rid it of its Traditional-leaning superior. Different set of circumstances.

        As regards the SSPX rushing prematurely into a personal prelature, I don’t think there’s any chance of it. The personal prelature has been on the table now for a long time, even during the Pontificate of Benedict XVI. The SSPX knows what it wants from a personal prelature. That it hasn’t signed on the dotted line these past ten years suggests that the SSPX is not going to just rush into any old offer from Rome.

        Perhaps the real issue is that many Traditional Catholics have a trust issue both with Bishop Fellay and Our Lord. There has to be more supernatural trust.

        July 9, 2017 at 1:58 pm
      • Athanasius

        Margaret Mary

        Sorry about the double “l” in reconciliation. I looked at my post above and thought “what the ‘L’ have I done there??”

        July 9, 2017 at 2:02 pm
      • Margaret USA


        “The only acceptable reason for rejecting a personal prelature would be if there existed a very real and demonstrable danger to Faith in the wording of an agreement text, or insufficient safeguards to protect the Society from malicious prelates.”

        BINGO! You hit the nail on the head, my friend.

        Everything that’s been going on since the episcopal consecrations in 1988 and especially during the past 4 years has made the SSPX very cautious in dealing with the modernists in Rome.

        What specific guarantees will Rome give to the SSPX that they can preach and practice the Catholic Faith “whole and entire” (Athansian Creed)?

        What specific guarantees will Rome give the SSPX that it or any prepare will not interfere in the internal governance of the SSPX?

        Most importantly, will they abide by them?

        In 1962, the Vatican-Moscow agreement was signed. To this day, Vatican foreign policy is shaped by this agreement. They don’t dare to break it (even though imho it should be broken).

        The SSPX, who are faithful Catholics, are treated worse than non-Catholics. That’s terrible.

        Lord, have mercy!


        July 10, 2017 at 1:43 am
      • Athanasius

        Margaret USA

        I have every confidence in Bishop Fellay in these negotiations. His Excellency knows better than us lay people what needs to be said and done to secure an agreement.

        Perhaps the real issue is that too many Traditional Catholics have become accustomed to the idea of an isolated SSPX, maybe with no little subconscious belief that the SSPX is now the Church. You may not be one of these people but there are many who think this way and it’s very dangerous. Archbishop Lefebvre expressed great fear that the longer the SSPX was separated from Rome the more likely the chance that a truly schismatic mindset would take hold.

        We will always find reasons to doubt the present Roman authorities and their true intentions. That can be very unhealthy and counter productive as it kills all trust in the Church’s legitimate authorities and entrenches a bitter them and us spirit. I think we have to discern more in these matters before reaching conclusions, but above all I think we need to say less as lay people and let Bishop Fellay and his confreres get on with doing God’s will for the good of the Church.

        There are way too many opinions out there in the blogosphere, many of them going way beyond what is legitimate for Catholic lay people to say and think.

        July 10, 2017 at 10:25 pm
  • westminsterfly

    it wouldn’t surprise me if Pope Francis tried . .

    July 8, 2017 at 8:56 pm
    • editor


      Wouldn’t surprise me either – it’s a wonder he hasn’t abolished SP by now, in fact!

      July 8, 2017 at 10:52 pm
  • leprechaun

    Madame Editor,

    You will be aware that bishop Fellay has called for a Rosary Crusade between 15 August 2016 and 17 August 2017.
    The fourth intention is that the faithful should pray for the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Society of St. Pius X and all its members et cetera . . .

    With that in mind, what can there be to worry about regarding the future well-being of the Society?

    Incidentally, for anyone wondering how to inform the Society of how many rosaries they have offered to date, there is an online submission form at :

    NB: At this relatively late stage it is not necessary to submit totals on a month by month basis – it is enough to enter the current month (e.g July) and the total to date since commencement. It may look superhuman to have recited 300 rosaries in July, but it is the overall tally that counts in the end.

    July 9, 2017 at 1:13 pm
  • John Kearney

    The Pope seems to believe he can play with people. The Latin Mass is the point to which we must all return The Novus Ordo has proved by its fruits that it attracts nobody. Where it is growing though is in places where the reverence of the Latin Mass is retained. Kneeling for Communion, receiving on the tongue, and not having to fight your way through a number of people holding chalices. We do not go to Church to serve the community and the place of people is in he pews praising God. The SSPX may have faults but it is there and it brings hope.

    July 9, 2017 at 7:49 pm
  • editor

    Athanasius, a reply to your comment today, dated 4.25pm

    Be assured – you are the only subversive allowed on this blog 😀

    July 11, 2017 at 6:42 pm
  • Athanasius


    Well at least you didn’t prefix “subversive” with “old”, as I did! We must take comfort wherever it is to be found!

    July 11, 2017 at 8:16 pm
    • gabriel syme


      In a post above you said:

      I detect a sea change in some senior prelates in the Church, however, a defence of the Faith that has previously been lacking in them. I think the Francis Pontificate has forced many to reconsider the entire post-conciliar programme. If nothing else, this Pope has obliged many to finally open their eyes, if not yet their mouths. I have a feeling that Francis is the last of the Modernist Popes.

      (I reply here as the specific post has no reply button avaiable)

      Your words in bold give great encouragement.

      Do you really think Francis might be the high water mark of modernism? At times I shudder to think who we might get as his successor, particularly when we see the standard of Cardinal Francis creates.

      If I was to chose the next Pope, it would be Burke or Sarah. But most likely we will get someone less well known. Do you think the college of Cardinals still has sufficient depth of quality to provide reassurance for the next conclave?

      And you mention detecting a change among senior prelates, what gives you this impression? Apart from the Dubia, which has not been followed up – and now one signatory is dead – I have been disappointed by how most prelates have responded to Francis. (There are exceptions – for example, Kazakh and Polish Bishops – but they seem a minority).

      July 13, 2017 at 1:16 pm
  • RCA Victor

    Back from retreat and reporting for duty, Madame Editor….

    Regarding The Remnant, I agree regarding the bitterness of the comments posted there, usually by the “no deal” faction. However, this faction is clearly being encouraged by the position of Michael Matt himself. and even Christopher Ferrara. Although he trusts Bishop Fellay not to “sell out” the SSPX, he doesn’t trust Rome to bargain honestly. This is merely a variant of the “Resistance” position, minus the character assassination of Bishop Fellay.

    Well, to me, this is much like saying we should of course trust Our Lord to persevere in His mission, but God forbid He should venture into Gethsemane after the Last Supper, because Judas was not to be trusted!

    As for The Remnant, I have not posted there for almost a year now, not only because of their “no deal” position and the comments, but also because they continue to publish articles by the yellow journalist Hilary White. In fact, even The Fatima Center has posted her articles at least twice on their Facebook page, despite my requests to stop. Shows you how much weight I have!

    Regarding Cardinal Muller’s parting shot, our retreatmaster shared a brief conversation he had with Bishop Fellay at ordinations week before last. Bishop Fellay said to him, “They’ve flushed five years of work down the toilet.”

    As for my own take on the negotiations, I still suspect that it is certain unnamed “powers behind the throne” (probably somewhere in the German episcopate), vehemently hostile to the SSPX, that are dictating the actions of the Pope, and will continue to do so until some occupant of the Chair of Peter locates that set of bones in his back known as the spine….to fulfill Our Lady’s requests, that is….

    July 16, 2017 at 11:37 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Welcome back! I hope your retreat proved enjoyable/beneficial or at least one of the two!

      I won’t comment on the rest of your post right now, since my beauty sleep is long overdue (say nothing!) except to say that I’m disappointed that the Fatima Center published anything by Hilary White. Seems to be only thee and me who are not fans. Can we help having a superior intelligence? 😀

      July 16, 2017 at 11:50 pm
  • Athanasius

    RCA Victor

    I agree about the Remnant. I posted some response comments on their blog last week, challenging some of the bitter zeal brigade. The first few comments were posted but thereafter every answer I made to my respondents was censored. They would not publish anything else I wrote, no matter how objectively written. I’m not sure if it’s Michael Matt who does this, I would be surprised if it was, but someone in charge of moderation on that blog is certainly a “Resistance” insider. It saddened me to see so many nasty comments on the Remnant blog, not at all what I remember of the paper or its editor.

    On the Pope Francis front, I was speaking on the telephone today with a good friend who lives and works in South America. He lived in Buenos Aires when Pope Francis was the bishop there. He assures me that Pope Francis is extremely autocratic in leadership, and very determined. In other words, he takes advice and orders from no one. That was my take on this Pope as well. I believe he is single minded when he decides on something and I don’t think anyone can convince or intimidate him into a different course of action once he has made his mind up.

    That is both good and bad. Good from the point of view that Pope Francis may well override the conclusions and demands of his former Prefect of the CDF re the SSPX, bad in that he will prove as determined when he wants to contradict the teaching of the Church for some socialist end. We have already seen something of this nightmare scenario in chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia.

    July 17, 2017 at 12:00 am
    • Margaret USA


      From what I saw, all but one of your comments was posted, and the only one that’s awaiting moderation is your apology to Bosco 49. Michael Matt has a dozen moderators helping him, plus the fact that you once wrote for the Remnant imho makes it highly unlikely that he would censor you.

      Speaking of censorship, I posted this on the ABC News website re Baby Charlie:

      XXIX. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.[228]
      Magna Carta (and according to Wikipedia, one of the three clauses still part of English law)
      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
      That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…
      Declaration of Independence, Wikipedia
      O Mary, conceived without sin, Patroness of the United States of America, pray for us who have recourse to Thee and for Baby Charlie!

      This was removed from the ABC News website. (I probably should have posted this on the GD thread, but since we’re discussing censorship, it seems appropriate here.)

      Finally, please take a look at the thread re Baby Charlie here on CT. I hope you like my post. 😉


      July 17, 2017 at 3:26 am
  • RCA Victor

    Athanasius and Margaret,

    I also wrote for The Remnant a couple of years ago – though it was just satire – and my objection to their Father LaRocque article (one of the recently disciplined Parisian priests) was not published. So having your work published does not seem to be any indication of screening criteria.

    Athanasius, I’ve also heard about Pope Francis’ autocratic approach (and we’ve all seen plenty of it, to be sure!), so I wonder if Cardinal Muller’s concluding statement – that the Pope had approved of these new conditions – was actually a parting shot at his boss! I suppose we await further news from Menzingen….at any rate, being a suspicious New Yorker, I’m still inclined to think that Francis is not his own man. There’s even been speculation that he is being heavily influenced, or even controlled, by the very wealthy German episcopate, because the Vatican is woefully short of cash. Who knows! I need to tend my own garden, said our retreatmaster. “But, I’m so dependent on my Catholic Truth paycheck!” I replied….

    Editor: Sorry – just seeing this as I close the threads (months late with this supposedly monthly duty!)… I think, RCA Victor, that we must agree to disagree on Francis being his own man – by all accounts he is such a bully that nobody would dare to push him around. However, fear not, since I really dislike “yes men” your paycheck/cheque is safe…. in my hands! If you’re very nice to me, I may let you have a cut!

    July 17, 2017 at 3:23 pm

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