SSPX “Resistance”? More Fool You!

SSPX “Resistance”? More Fool You!

From Catholic Family News…

Since at least 2011, there seems to be a never-ending stream of reports in the blogosphere and even mainstream media that Bishop Bernard Fellay is poised to sign an agreement with Rome. The most recent wave of alleged capitulation occurred this past summer. Yet here, in the autumn of 2017, Bishop Fellay and the Society of St. Pius X remain in the same canonical posture with Rome. Throughout these years of predicted compromise, a number of priests and faithful have preemptively jumped ship, deciding that a break with the SSPX was necessary before the forecasted compromise occurred. Each time a new individual or group breaks the unity of the Society, such persons claim that Bishop Fellay is walking into a Roman trap – canonical regularization – and they must flee before the trap closes. Rome, they say, wants nothing other than the destruction of the SSPX and the legacy of its founder, and that “regularization” is the bait used to lure the Society into a death trap. 

Bishop Bernard Fellay

Rome’s Real Trap and Bait

Let us posit this claim as true, that the Roman authorities do share a common intention to destroy the SSPX. But what if the trap and the bait are completely different from what the defectors claim? Perhaps it is not Bishop Fellay who is poised to fall into that trap but, rather, the defectors over the years who have unwittingly taken Rome’s bait themselves.

The Modernists are clearly threatened by any attempt to hold fast to Tradition and thus seek its destruction or, at the very least, its containment. However, there are many ways to achieve that end. One way might be to lure the SSPX into a canonical recognition that was designed to subject it to Roman power in order to crush it. Yet we should consider the possibility that their strategy might be a bit more subtle, namely, to force the SSPX into a continual state of division and defections so as to keep its numbers low enough to be ignored, as opposed to luring the Society into the Conciliar Church. If this were the strategy, the Modernists could be using the constant recurring possibility of canonical regularization to divide and conquer.

A review of the past forty years would suggest that a strategy of “divide the SSPX to contain its influence” seems to explain the Roman authorities’ behavior. Although using different instruments, the goal seems fairly clear: Get as many priests and religious to leave the Society as possible so its growth is artificially controlled.

Divide and Conquer

The defection of priests has been the single most destructive blow to the SSPX. Beginning with the defection of nine sedevacantists in the early 1980s, the Society has constantly been fighting a battle to replace lost numbers rather than growing organically with new vocations. A conservative calculation suggests that, were it not for defections over the past four decades, the SSPX would have over 1,800 priests and religious (SSPX proper + affiliated communities). The Vatican would be confronted by a very different reality if Bishop Fellay spoke for so many priests and religious.

The Vatican strategy from 1988 to the early 2000s seemed to be an attempt to break up the SSPX by luring individual priests (or small groups) into regularized situations. In those cases, the bait employed was to start one’s own little SSPX with canonical recognition. The first batch left in July 1988 following the consecrations. A few more priests trickled out due to Vatican luring through the 1990s and early 2000s. The deal with the Union of St. John Vianney in Campos was the most significant success of this strategy to lure away with the carrot of setting up a new regularized group. By 2010 or thereabouts, the success of this strategy was waning. There was not much more movement after the defection of Campos and the SSPX was starting to rebuild. If my hypothesis is correct, the Vatican then changed tactics. They decided to dangle their carrot of canonical regularization in front of the Society itself, crafting the bait to give the appearance that Bishop Fellay might bite it, all the while knowing he would reject their last-minute demands. This new approach has, in fact, produced two detrimental effects: (1) It caused more defections from the Society for fear of compromise and (2) it has kept the SSPX under the stigma of canonical irregularity.

Such a strategy would explain the cycle of “doctrinal discussions” and “rapprochement” witnessed in 2009-2012 and again in 2015-2017. The Vatican makes it appear as though regularization of the SSPX is imminent. They even take some concrete steps to make the story plausible (e.g. the Motu Proprio granting more tolerance of the old Mass, nullification of the 1988 excommunications, conferral of ordinary jurisdiction for Confession and Marriage). They make suggestions that a relaxation of total adherence to Vatican II is possible. As expectations rise, so do fears and conspiracy theories claiming capitulation is just around the corner. As a result, priests and faithful once again start abandoning ship. And then, at the eleventh hour, Rome adds a demand they know Bishop Fellay will never accept and thus ends the cycle with the SSPX still “irregular” and a path of devastation through the ranks of the Society.

New Strategy Proves Successful

From the perspective of the enemies of Tradition, this new strategy has been more successful then luring away individual or small groups of priests to regularization, as with the FSSP founders and the priests of Campos. This “scare and disperse” tactic has resulted not only in the loss of individual priests and religious but also high-ranking and internationally respected figures of the Society. It has also driven a wedge between the SSPX and several previously affiliated religious orders, resulting in entire monasteries and orders breaking from the Society. Even better, from the enemies’ perspective, it does not result in these priests who favor Tradition and the traditional Mass coming into the Conciliar Church. The defectors in this new wave have not founded or joined Ecclesia Dei communities; rather, they have gone truly independent, scattering to the four winds.
Although it is true that the price of canonical recognition for Ecclesia Dei communities has been compromise and silence, their presence within the Conciliar Church is still a thorn in the side of the Modernist destroyers. Even if they are silent about the illicit nature of the New Mass, they spread awareness of the ancient liturgy and preach some traditional doctrines. These “troublesome” conservative or traditional-leaning priests would be less trouble if they were both outside the Conciliar Church and separate from the SSPX. That would diminish the influence of Tradition within the mainstream Church as well as weaken the witness and position of the SSPX by constantly reducing its numbers (notwithstanding the flourishing of new vocations). It would also result in the continued marginalization of the Society in the Modernist twilight zone of “less-than-full communion.”

Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527

Perhaps the Modernists are not so Machiavellian or organized enough to come up with such a grand scheme, but the results of the past 10 to 12 years are consistent with such a plan. The latest cycle seems to have fizzled out in familiar fashion, with Cardinal Müller demanding use of the post-Conciliar Declaration of Faith and adherence to all the documents of the Council and post-Conciliar papal teachings. After six years of talks with Bishop Fellay, the Cardinal had to know these demands would seal the fate of the latest talks in a rejection by Bishop Fellay. Yet the cycle has yielded more fruit for the enemies of Tradition. The unilateral conferral of jurisdiction for Marriage, the last salvo before killing the prospects of recognition for now, yielded more defections and divisions in the heart of the SSPX in France.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

If my theory is correct, then in the early 2000s the Vatican authorities changed their strategy from luring individuals and small groups into regularization to causing division within the SSPX by creating the appearance of a regularization that would never actually happen. If this is true, then it is not Bishop Fellay who has fallen into their trap but, rather, the priests who abandoned him and the Society to which they made promises. By their defection, they have weakened the single most effective force for Tradition the post-Vatican II Church has ever seen, all for fear of a theoretical compromise with Rome that has never happened. Rather than confronting the Modernists with thousands of priests and religious, the clerical and consecrated souls of the Society numbers less than 700 while the ranks of defectors suffer further ruptures and isolation. The enemies of Tradition could not have hoped for more.

In the Gospel, Our Lord tells us: “Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matt. 12:25). May all the members of the SSPX – priests, religious, and lay faithful – take His words to heart and strive “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).   Source

Title at source:  A Society Divided Against Itself: SSPX Ranks Must Preserve Internal Unity by Brian McCall.

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Catholic Family News. 

Comments invited – how did you vote in the poll?

Comments (101)

  • RCAVictor

    I think this is a very plausible theory, summarized by this: “They decided to dangle their carrot of canonical regularization in front of the Society itself, crafting the bait to give the appearance that Bishop Fellay might bite it….”

    The problem, though, has three aspects: one, Bishop Fellay has never given any sign or indication that he will “bite.” Two, negotiations are being misinterpreted as surrender, true: not by the Vatican, but by defecting priests themselves! Three, since the distortion/misinterpretation of “negotiation” is coming from within the Society, that points very clearly to an internal communication problem, not to mention faulty formation of priests.

    Which leads me to ask: is the SSPX leadership operationally disconnected from its own “boots on the ground”?

    January 17, 2018 at 10:11 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      You make some good points – and your closing question is of central importance. I only wish I knew the answer! Maybe when I’ve had some beauty & brain sleep. Check back in a month 😀

      January 17, 2018 at 11:11 pm
  • Deacon Augustine

    “Perhaps the Modernists are not so Machiavellian or organized enough to come up with such a grand scheme,…”

    Yah really think???!!! The problem with too many trads is that they have difficulty perceiving the extent of the evil that modernists are capable of perpetrating. Get real – these are people who can change the words of Jesus Christ because he didn’t use a tape-recorder – they have no moral restraint or taboo – they are capable of anything. Surely with the advent of Frankenpope eyes must start to be opened to the fact that we are actually dealing with the devil and his disciples.

    Remember it was good old Ratzinger and St JPII who promised the FSSP a bishop if they regularized – how’s that promise coming along? “Divide et impera” and “divide ut regnes” have been long-standing modus operandi of the Roman court – romanitas has them engraved in its bones. They are very easy strategies for people with no principle to deploy against people with principles.

    If I were advising bishop Fellay and Rome came courting again, I would suggest that he makes it a condition of any reconciliation that not only should the SSPX get the bishops they need, but the FSSP should get the bishop they were promised too. Gesture of goodwill and all that.

    Tradition is best served at the moment by having people with their feet outside the camp and others with their feet in the camp. But it would really serve the cause more effectively if all the interested parties talked to each other and agreed a common strategy among themselves before they even gave Rome the time of day.

    In the meantime any further fractures among traditional Catholics can only serve the enemy as the author of the OP suggested.

    January 17, 2018 at 10:45 pm
    • editor

      Deacon Augustine,

      “…these are people who can change the words of Jesus Christ because he didn’t use a tape-recorder.”

      Priceless! Love it!

      All the more disappointing, then, to see no inverted commas around “St” JPII. Ach well. Perhaps some day. A gal can live in hope, surely…

      As for this not uncommon idea of all the “trads” (personally, I dislike this label, whether abbreviated or not – I am a Catholic, no adjective) coming together to form a strategy, the concept ignores the fact that the non-SSPX “trads” are often as opposed to the SSPX as any modernist. The FSSP came into being for that every reason, remember. The original FSSP clergy WERE SSPX priests.

      So, that won’t work. Which is why these numpties who scream “resistance” at every turn ought to grow up and behave themselves. Do you know, I’ve been trying to remember the names of the Glasgow people I used to know quite well, who left to join the Red Army “Resistance” (to nothing). I think I remember a couple but most of them are gone – whoosh! Out of sight, out of mind. Making a real (non) impact, the daft “Resistance-to-nothing”.

      I agree, therefore, with your concluding sentiment. No question about it. Fracturing the SSPX can only serve to do the devil’s work. Shocking. And those priests who have joined them will, I firmly believe, face a truly terrible judgment when their time comes, for if the Society had remained firm and united, huge advances could have been made, by now, in the restoration of Catholic Tradition.

      January 17, 2018 at 11:20 pm
      • Deacon Augustine

        If Francis were to be anathematized in the future and all his acts annulled, then that would sort out the “St” issue for you. 😉

        Unfortunately I can’t forget the names of all those I know who joined the “Resistance” because some are in my extended family. In fact one branch of my family has been split right down the middle between resisters and Society faithful. The devil is surely having a field day with all this nonsense. Although I suppose that is easier to see when one is looking in from the “outside”.

        January 17, 2018 at 11:45 pm
      • Don Bosco


        Yes, I agree. What terrible judgement awaits those rebellious priests.

        January 20, 2018 at 2:31 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Be more concerned with how God will judge pope Francis who has altered the Catholic faith to an unrecognisable status. Your comment is not helpful and is only throwing fuel to the fire of division.

        January 21, 2018 at 6:16 am
      • Don Bosco

        The only “division” is from the “Resistance” (to nothing) crowd.

        Time and time again we have seen that Bishop Fellay will not compromise. Yet, we still have useful idiots abandoning ship! If that’s not insanity I don’t know what is!

        This is all caused by pride, ignorance and stupidity. The bishop and priests who have left do so because they would prefer to be “independent” and are quite happy for the canonical situation to remain irregular.

        As for the clueless laity who follow, they must have a poor understanding of the Faith and the current crisis.

        January 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Don Bosco, so the Resistance is a “nothing crowd”? You seem to have a short term memory, the SSPX also came from very humble beginnings a d broke away from the mkdern Church from which now it wants to re-unite hkw ironic. I sense a lot of uncharitable hostility from you and I don’t think its because you care about people leaving the SSPX but because it hurts your pride that they do. I know I wouldn’t want to be part of something where I’m not wanted or considered a “useful idiot”. Did you learn that terminology from Fr Hesse?

        So an article like this has to be printed for peoples true colors to come out of the woodworks. Nice!

        January 22, 2018 at 3:05 am
      • Don Bosco

        The SSPX did not “break” from anything. It simply stayed with Tradition. Ar you forgetting that Archbishop Lefebvre sought, and was granted, canonical recognition for his Society? That’s hardly “breaking”. I suspect you know very little about the history and have simply swallowed the Bishop Williamson propaganda!

        January 22, 2018 at 6:56 am
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        No Don it broke away from Modernism initially, this was when Archbishop Leferbvre refused to change and the SSPX was still considered schismatic for a number of years , only afterwards was it granted canonical recognition. Get your facts straight. I’m sorry you have such a miserable life that you have to resort to hostility all the time, to any opposition you encounter. With the anonomity of the internet you can get away with anything.

        January 22, 2018 at 10:32 am
      • editor


        Nobody gets away with much on this blog, be assured. Thankfully, I can spot nasty personal remarks a mile away, just as I can recognise robust debate.

        Don Bosco was pointing out that the SSPX did not break with the Church, that the Society remains within the Church, simply in a non-diocesan structure. That will be easily put right, when the time comes. Bishop Fellay will not agree to any kind of arrangement which places the Society under the authority of modernists. He’s already proven that to be the case.

        The trouble is, there are people now of a schismatic mentality, both clergy and laity, within the Society – just as Archbishop Lefebvre feared – because this has gone on for so long. These people do not want the Society to be regularised which means they are Protestant in all but name. That’s just a fact, not an “ad hominem” or any other kind of attack.

        When we, on this blog, criticise the post-Vatican II popes, including the current scandalous pontiff, we do so with heavy hearts. When I read the stuff on certain other sites, I sense glee and delight. That’s every bit as shocking as anything Pope Francis has said or done. Well, almost 😀

        As Catholics, we should be EAGER for an end to the crisis, and for an end, asap, to the irregular status of the SSPX because so many more souls would come to the Society Masses and learn the truth about the extent of this Church crisis. No other mindset is legitimate. The ghetto mentality is a fundamentalist Protestant mentality. End of discussion – although you can disagree if you wish 😀

        January 22, 2018 at 10:41 am
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Dear Editor What’s the point in commenting when my posts are deleted because you are too biased to allow them to be published? Oh I’m sorry I hurt your feelings by telling the truth, you are not biased you only like to attack the Resistance and believe that anyone who disagrees with it should keep quiet.
        So do the world a favour and close off the comment section since you are too sensitive to listen to other people’s point of view.

        January 23, 2018 at 11:39 am
      • editor


        I’ve not deleted ANY of your posts and I’ve just checked our SPAM and moderation folders in case any went in there by mistake (as does happen with WordPress from time to time, unfortunately) but there is nothing anywhere from you, except as published on this thread.

        I am going to be away from my computer for a while but, be assured, if you respond to this, or to any other comment on this blog (using your correct log in details) they will go straight onto the blog. I suggest you re-submit the comments which you think I’ve deleted.

        January 23, 2018 at 12:09 pm
      • Alex F


        Yes, I think you are correct in saying that Pope Francis is the real problem here. My reading of some of the comments on this thread proves the old adage that civil wars are the bloodiest. I’ve noticed that in observing the discussions between Catholics who call themselves “traditional” both here and on other discussion forums. The normal rules of engaging with fellow Catholics in charity seems to be suspended and we start thinking we are about to see into other people’s souls. People lose sight of where the problem lies- Rome.

        What we have today is a crisis of leadership in the Church. If Rome were to straighten itself out, all of the division within the Church will evaporate overnight. Right now, we are like siblings squabbling with each other over our drunk father’s bizarre and dangerous orders. We follow this bishop or that priest, certain that only they have the words of eternal life, while forgetting that they are most likely just as confused as everyone else. There is a layer of authority above them that is absent today. We anathematise everyone who disagrees with us, while forgetting that Catholics don’t have to pay any attention to what other lay people say. We use Marxist insults, calling other Catholics “useful idiots” forgetting that everyone is someone else’s useful idiot, and Our Lord told us never to call someone a “fool.” Lenin could call people whatever he wants, but we Catholics have to aim slightly higher than Lenin.

        As I say, I’ve said before on this blog that I disagree with the SSPX position, and from what I understand of the Resistance position, it appears much the same- recognise and resist, only slightly more fundamentalist. However, we are in an unprecedented crisis today. And if the situation at the top were fixed, the whole situation would improve and we’ll all wonder what the whole crisis was about.

        January 21, 2018 at 5:08 pm
      • Don Bosco

        Alex F,

        Sorry but I got bored half way through this post and stopped reading.

        The only thing I will say is that the Catholics on this blog who remain with the Society do so primarily out of fidelity to Catholic Tradition, not an individual bishop or priest.

        January 21, 2018 at 5:18 pm
      • Alex F

        “Sorry but I got bored half way through this post and stopped reading.”

        Thank you for proving my point! 😀

        January 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm
      • Don Bosco

        Well, dear sensitive Alex, you recognise there’s a crisis in the Church yet you disagree with the position of the SSPX ? You clearly do not understand the crisis, so I would refrain from commenting on this particular subject and concentrate on establishing a coherent position.

        I can’t stand this Modern definition of charity, which means we must become soft wimps. Sometimes charity demands that we are firm with our neighbour!

        January 21, 2018 at 5:30 pm
      • Alex F

        Don Bosco,

        I thought you were not going to read to the end of my post because it was too long and boring for you to read? 😎

        Who says that because I don’t agree with the SSPX position I don’t have a coherent position? I have read the rules of this public forum and as far as I can tell, one does not need to agree with the SSPX in order to post here. If that is the case, then I suggest that be made clear in the rules.

        You are right in that the modern definition of charity has become so fluffy that we can’t say anything, but that doesn’t mean that we can ditch charity altogether. In my experience, everyone agrees that charity demands that we be firm with our neighbour, however, we don’t tend to appreciate it when our neighbour is firm with us. Then we don’t like it! There is a balance to be stuck somewhere here, and speaking plainly with our neighbour is not an excuse to be insulting.

        January 21, 2018 at 5:50 pm
      • Don Bosco

        At no point did I say that you needed to agree with the SSPX to post here. I do believe that if one properly understands the crisis, then one must agree with the SSPX position.

        January 21, 2018 at 5:59 pm
      • editor

        Don Bosco,

        While “casting pearl before swine” is a quotation from Scripture, I’d ask you to take care how you use it on this blog. Anything that smacks of personal remarks of the nasty kind, are removed by me, in a jiffy.

        The other kind of personal remarks, however, ARE permitted, so if you think I’m slim, glamorous, witty and highly intellectual, feel absolutely free to say so…

        January 21, 2018 at 8:31 pm
      • Alex F

        “At no point did I say that you needed to agree with the SSPX to post here.”

        Well, you did suggest it:

        “You clearly do not understand the crisis, so I would refrain from commenting on this particular subject and concentrate on establishing a coherent position.”

        Actually, it is possible that one might have a grasp on the current crisis and still disagree with the SSPX. It’s not the case that if one disagrees with the R&R position one is too stupid to understand, but that’s the impression I have from reading posts on this blog. I’ve tried in the past to raise questions about the SSPX position here and I have never had any kind of convincing argument in response, just a whole lot of non sequiturs and ad hominem, so I am not going to try again. But the Internet is not short of articles on the subject from a variety of sources and not everyone has the same conclusion.

        January 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm
      • Don Bosco

        Perhaps it’s time to stick to the other sources, which no doubt allow you to carry on as you are!

        January 21, 2018 at 6:35 pm
      • RCAVictor


        Regarding the questions you’ve raised previously about the SSPX position, I hope you will not give up asking them, because I don’t recall seeing them.

        Could you post them again, or direct us to previous topics where they were posted?

        Also, it would be helpful if you gave us your definition of the term “SSPX position,” since I’m not sure what you mean by that.

        January 21, 2018 at 6:56 pm
      • Don Bosco

        You were given very clear answers to your questions. You chose not to accept the answers. You expect us to cast our pearls before swine!

        January 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm
      • Alex F

        RCA Victor,

        “Could you post them again, or direct us to previous topics where they were posted?”

        No, sorry, I’m not going to do that. And this is why:

        “You were given very clear answers to your questions. You chose not to accept the answers. You expect us to cast our pearls before swine!”

        This gives a flavour of the response I’ve had in the past. True to form as always!

        January 21, 2018 at 7:27 pm
      • editor

        Alex F,

        “Actually, it is possible that one might have a grasp on the current crisis and still disagree with the SSPX”

        I’ve been a little disappointed reading your comments on this thread, Alex, but I’ll focus only on the above extract from your post at 6.19pm because I simply could not disagree more. To anyone who is still doubtful about Archbishop Lefebvre and the crucial role of the SSPX in these times, witnessing what we are witnessing, not least on planes bound for Chile, I say: words fail. Totally.

        I find myself saying this with monotonous frequency these days, because how anyone can witness this Pope at work, actively subverting Catholic doctrine and discipline, and NOT see that Archbishop Lefebvre was the prelate foretold by Our Lady of Good Success when at Quito in the 17th century, beats me. I mean, really beats me. Big time.

        Having sought Mother Marianna (Quito) as a victim soul for the crisis to come in the 20th century, Our Lady said: “Pray that my Son will send a prelate to restore the priestly spirit.”

        When asked if he thought HE was that prelate, the Archbishop, in true humility – admitted the possibility. Since nobody else turned up in the 20th century to fit the bill, I think it’s self-evident that he was, indeed, the Bishop sent by God to – using his priestly Society – guide us through this crisis.

        Of course, nothing is dogma unless formally defined by the Church, so you are free to disagree. However, just as I would be slow to intervene with definitive opinions on, say, interior disagreements within any of the national political parties or any other group of which I am not a member, so I think it behoves those choosing to comment on this thread to understand the nature of the so-called “resistance”. These are a small group of people who fear an end to the Society’s irregular status. They are fine being “outside the walls” and that is entirely UN-Catholic.

        They are using the completely groundless argument that (they think) Bishop Fellay, the General Superior will “cave in” and “make a deal” with Rome which will leave them as fully paid up modernists. Yet, every single statement from Bishop Fellay is to the contrary. Not one of their predictions has come true, so there can be no doubt at all that these people are, whether wittingly or unwittingly, undermining and subverting God’s plan to restore the Faith in this time of crisis, for, it seems the sole reason of keeping them in some kind of imaginary power and status.

        I’ve met some of these people. Many of us on this blog know a number of them. One of them, in private conversation with me, called Bishop Fellay “a rat” – now, to be fair, he later admitted that he should not have said that, but if this is the way they speak (and reading their blog comments, it seems to be the norm) I think we can take it as read that God is NOT behind this rather ridiculous “resistance” to absolutely nothing movement. It is self-indulgent, to say the least.

        I don’t remember you asking questions about the SSPX but then I don’t have the best memory in the world. I don’t have the best memory in the world 😀

        However, I know that – while you may not have liked the replies – they would definitely NOT have been ad hominem or otherwise nasty comments. I remove those as soon as I see them. So, while responses may have been hard-hitting / forthright, I know that they would not have been nasty, personal remarks, which as I’m sure you know, are prohibited on this site.

        January 21, 2018 at 8:29 pm
      • Alex F

        I’ve spoken about the SSPX position on this blog before, but not for a long time, and I don’t really want to go over all the old arguments again, because I know it will get nowhere and it’s not as if the Internet needs another SSPX battle.

        The reason why entered this discussion was because I agree with Georgina that the main problem here is the authority in the Church. When we lose sight of that, we get distracted. If the hierarchy of the Church were to stop being Modernist the whole reason for the SSPX would disappear because there would be nothing to resist.

        I have no desire to get myself embroiled yet again in someone else’s sectarian dispute. However, it seems to me that the position of the SSPX and the SSPX Resistance is essentially the same. I have encountered many Catholics of all camps who are generally good people but have said and done things they shouldn’t have. That’s why we have the grace of the Sacrament of Confession. However the dispute seems more about personality rather than principle and confirms my belief that civil wars are the bloodiest.

        So for an outsider it seems that the Resistance broke away from the SSPX because they were against a regularisation of the SSPX’s canonical position. It wasn’t necessarily because they had any theological differences with the SSPX. Maybe they were right, I’m not the one to ask about that. However, if the SSPX and the Resistance recognise that Francis is the real pope, then they should submit to him.

        January 21, 2018 at 10:12 pm
      • Athanasius

        Alex F

        Your comment is far too simplistic and seems to rule out entirely the Confirmation duty of Catholics to adhere to the truth and challenge error, regardless of where that error is found.

        You’re right to say that the crisis in the Church starts at the top, but you seem to ignore the complicitness of almost the entire hierarchy and priesthood, not to mention the laity. We cannot simply point to the Pope and say that all will be well when the Pope comes back to his senses, but in the meantime let’s just go along to get along. That’s not charity, it’s cowardice and dereliction of duty.

        I far prefer those animated Catholics who get angry with extremists of either persuasion than those who say and do nothing in the name of charity. This present crisis is a war for souls, the third world war, as Archbishop Lefebvre called it. There’s no place in the trenches for conscientious objectors.

        January 21, 2018 at 9:49 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Alex , thanks for your support, its unfortunate that you had to get into the firing line of Don Bosco, an insult to a great saint.

        January 22, 2018 at 3:29 am
    • RCAVictor

      Deacon Augustine,

      I believe the purpose of The Remnant’s recent “Catholic Identity Conference” was to attempt precisely what you suggest (“if all the interested parties talked to each other and agreed a common strategy among themselves before they even gave Rome the time of day”), but I haven’t followed the outcome(s) of that Conference.

      Are you or any of the bloggers aware of any progress towards that goal made at the Conference?

      January 18, 2018 at 2:12 am
  • RCAVictor

    This may sounds a little crazy, but I’d like to add a hypothetical piece that I think is missing from this hypothetical puzzle.

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the Vatican’s strategy is indeed to incite defections from the Society by offering certain concessions. But what good would that do when the Vatican has no control over the reactions of Society priests?

    Ah, but there is one way in which the Vatican could control those reactions, and that is if they have infiltrated the Society with Modernist moles, just like Stalin did in the 1930s with his infamous 1100 seminarians. Moles whose mission is not to weaken the Society by liberalizing it, but the complete opposite: to draw priests away by claiming that the Society is about to betray the mission of its revered founder, and to offer a more “faithful” alternative (that goes nowhere…). That is, to weaken it by raising a stink and attracting followers out the door. It’s certainly a tried and true method.

    I have no evidence for this except for circumstantial evidence, which is the ridiculous, laughable and completely irrational reasoning, in total defiance of reality and completely dishonest, used by these defectors (latest example, Father Morgan) to defect.

    I rest my flimsy case….but maybe Julian Asssange can come up with some emails…..

    January 18, 2018 at 4:52 am
    • Nicky

      RCA Victor,

      I don’t believe the Vatican infiltrated the Society – they wouldn’t see any need, knowing human nature there would be sure to be some who would get fed up and defect, for whatever reason. That’s what we’re seeing now.

      It would be great if Assange would come up with some emails, LOL!

      January 18, 2018 at 2:28 pm
  • gabriel syme

    From the article:

    This “scare and disperse” tactic has resulted not only in the loss of individual priests and religious but also high-ranking and internationally respected figures of the Society.

    To whom does the bold text above refer?

    I know Bishop Williamson was obviously “high ranking” but certainly not “internationally respected”.

    January 18, 2018 at 8:47 am
  • crofterlady

    Gabriel Syme, I was wondering the same thing. I’ve wracked my brains (the few left) and I can’t find anybody to fit the bill.

    I agree that there are some subversive goings on in the traditional world. Divide and conquer being the mantra and it’s certainly succeeding to some extent. Fr. Morgan et al should take stock of the underlying situation and wake up to the clever, diabolical and manipulative strategies of marxism.

    January 18, 2018 at 9:32 am
  • gabriel syme

    I think pride is a major factor in the “resistance” and it is comprised of people who enjoy the limelight. People who would ultimately find any reason to leave the SSPX, in order to promote themselves and set up their own little groups, just like the Protestants before them. If they cannot tolerate the leadership of +Fellay and being part of the SSPX, how would they ever be comfortable being part of anything except their own little organisation?

    I like CFN (and respected John Venari, RIP) but I wonder if the article does not betray an unhealthy mindset in some regards.

    While there are undoubtedly enemies of tradition, I am uneasy with the repeated description of the Roman authorities as “enemies” and the suggestion that their engagement with the SSPX is only ever with a view to destroying the Society.

    If they were really enemies, why would the SSPX want anything to do with them at all?

    I do not look upon them as “enemies” but rather as being afflicted by the disorientation which Fatima warned us about. This disorientation manifests not only through modernistic thinking but also via erroneous efforts to resolve the canonical status of the Society, such as requests to affirm Vatican II etc.

    Looking at the mainstream Church, it is today headed by the aged Vatican II generation leading the ignorant masses (including clergy) who have never had the benefit of a proper formation. And so, how could we realistically expect clear, Catholic thinking from the mainstream?

    Of course their point of view is one of disorientation and so I view their actions as being fundamentally born of confusion, not malice.

    We have discussed before how, over time, the authorities have repeatedly rolled back and softened their stance towards the Society in a number of concrete ways. The cancellation of the excommunications, Summorum Pontificum, admission it is acceptable to attend SSPX Chapels, roundabout admission that SSPX sacraments are valid etc.

    I have always regarded this positive progress as being the fruit of discussion and prayer, as well as the gradual realisation that the SSPX is not going to go away, but rather only continue to grow.

    Yet the author portrays these positive developments only as traps and schemes, ruses to hoodwink us. So, if the authorities do not permit the true mass, they are enemies, but, if they do permit the new mass they are sneaky enemies trying to outfox us. Surely this is paranoia?

    Of course the SSPX is deserving of a canonical status, for the sake of justice alone. But politics mean this is currently denied to them. Look how Francis (as Archbishop Bergoglio) didn’t hesitate to recognise them as Catholic in Argentina, but has not done so universally as Pope. The obvious contradictions and politics are there for anyone with eyes to see.

    The SSPX will receive its recognition ultimately, but until then it must hold fast – just as it has done in recent decades. It is the mirror in which the mainstream Church will eventually recognise itself.

    I think the “righting” of the Church will be a gradual process, one helped along with the wasting away of the novus ordo establishment and the continued growth of tradition.

    I do not personally buy into the argument that the SSPX should keep its distance until the mainstream has returned to tradition***. That seems a bit like the paramedics staying away until the heart-attack victim has returned to full health.

    The SSPX should never compromise, but surely it can engage with and be an example to the mainstream Church.

    ***I am open to correction, but I think ++Lefebvre once said something like Rome must return to tradition before any agreement. However, he also once acknowledged that he could sometimes express himself with “excessive indignation”, which is understandable given his great passion and the huge pressure he was under.

    If the Archbishop was still with us, and was offered a no-strings agreement tomorrow, I do not think he would throw it back in Rome’s face, but rather he would accept it as use it as a foundation to continue his work.

    Ultimately I trust in the level-headed leadership and judgement of Bishop Fellay who is an “exemplary Catholic prelate” to quote Bishop Schneider. Under his leadership it seems like the SSPX has just achieved much of what it has desired, with the canonical status being the only domino remaining standing.

    January 18, 2018 at 1:09 pm
    • Nicky

      Gabriel Syme,

      Great post! I completely agree with it.

      Re your *** – you are correct about the Archbishop later correcting himself and he actually said at one point “When Rome calls, we go”. I definitely agree that he would grasp a “no strings” prelature today if he were still alive. He did not want this irregular status to last for very long and he feared the very schismatic mentality that is now being displayed by the likes of Fr Morgan and the rest of the resistance group.

      January 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm
    • RCAVictor

      Gabriel Syme,

      Thanks for that very thoughtful post. Here are some responses:

      “If they were really enemies, why would the SSPX want anything to do with them at all?”

      There are several facets to this: 1. I would distinguish between willful enemies of the Church, i.e. Freemasons, who are indeed malicious in my opinion, and useful idiots, who are truly disoriented (and/or perhaps afraid of the Masons). 2. Enemies of the Church, though a mortal threat to the Church, are not our personal enemies, and we don’t treat them as such. 3. The SSPX is not interested in personal relationships with these enemies, they are interested in canonical regularization, which means they have to negotiate with said enemies – who, unfortunately, control the positions of power at the moment. 4. Our Lord didn’t steer clear of His willfully malicious enemies, the Pharisees, either. They dogged Him at every step, and He engaged them and silenced them every time.

      “the authorities have repeatedly rolled back and softened their stance towards the Society in a number of concrete ways.”

      Very true, they have met many of the Society’s demands, but I believe that Professor McCall’s point is that despite these concessions, the rug is always snatched out from under them at the last moment, the brick wall reappears, and the dotted line for signatures disappears, because some unacceptable condition is hoisted up the flagpole which the Society cannot salute.

      “The SSPX should never compromise, but surely it can engage with and be an example to the mainstream Church.”

      Yes, and in doing so it must engage with the Church’s enemies, despite the dangers.

      “If the Archbishop was still with us, and was offered a no-strings agreement tomorrow…”

      I agree that he would accept it and that Bishop Fellay would and should accept it, but I don’t see that happening until the Passion of the Church reaches its denouement. I hate to be a pessimist, but I don’t think we’re there yet.

      January 18, 2018 at 10:26 pm
      • Fidelis

        RCA Victor,

        That’s what I find very suspicious – the pulling of the rug at the last minute. Just when Bishop Fellay thought he had a document he could sign up to, they added to it and what they added made it impossible for him to sign. That was obviously deliberate. If they thought he would not notice that the file had got fatter and would sign it unknowingly, that showed them to be completely devious and untrustworthy.

        I think Bishop Fellay is wise enough to wait until he can sign without compromise. I just wish the foolish resistance people splitting the Society would think the same way, especially since none of their predictions has come true. They constantly set up straw men and shadow box, without any need.

        January 19, 2018 at 7:28 pm
      • RCAVictor


        Those straw men and their shadow boxing are what makes me suspicious that some of the defectors are “plants.” But I’m being conspiratorial again….

        January 19, 2018 at 7:38 pm
      • Lily

        RCA Victor,

        I don’t think the resistance types are that clever! They’re just malcontents, from what I hear. They want to have positions as leaders in a new group. IMHO it’s that simple.

        January 19, 2018 at 9:34 pm
      • RCAVictor


        Just wanted to point out that if some of these defectors are moles, then they are not really resistance types, they are fifth column infiltrators.

        However, it looks like my fifth column theory went nowhere. Back to the drawing board!

        January 20, 2018 at 3:26 pm
    • Georgina Varhelyi

      Hogwash, pride is the !east of their faults. Its not pride that makes a person leave, it’s fear of their faith being comprised. I liken it to the sinking Titanic, do you remain on board because the Captain remains, knowing that the ship has struck a !eak and is sinking, or do you get on a lifeboat to save yourself and your family?

      But I guess one has to be a great fan of BP Fellay to keep trusting him regardless. Myself I trust and worship not fallible man, but God and
      HIS Church (the una!termed Catholic faith), even if I have to swim to a lifeboat to keep it I will.

      If BP Fellay stopped the negotiations today and recanted his position with the error filled novus ordo Church I am sure the Resistance will reunite once again with the SSPX. No one cares more about their faith than the Resistance does, otherwise they would never have left in the first place.

      January 21, 2018 at 6:34 am
      • Don Bosco

        Wow so many crazy elements to that last post! This “fear of the Faith being comprised (sic)” is a bit like being frightened of the big bad wolf! It doesn’t exist! There’s no evidence to suggest that Bishop Fellay has ever compromised. Crazy, crazy stuff!

        My view is that obedience and charity demans that OF COURSE we continue to trust Bishop Fellay! He hasn’t given anyone any reason not to trust him. What’s we’ve had is a mischievous, disgruntled and jealous bishop (who probably doesn’t properly understand Catholic obedience being a former Protestant) unsettling poor, changeable and badly formed lay people and leading them astray.

        As for your comment about not worshipping a fallible man, this doesn’t even merit a response and sort of proves my point about badly formed laity.

        January 21, 2018 at 3:56 pm
      • editor

        Don Bosco,

        Well said! I’ve been battling with my internet connection for a while now – all well worth it to read your “taking no prisoners” response to these predictably senseless defences of the indefensible “resistance” (to nothing) bunch. I’ve got absolutely no problem with the resistance, really – I can resist them without giving it a second thought 😀

        January 21, 2018 at 4:09 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        I’m sorry you all feel that way. Emotions come before logic I guess. Waiting on a other fiery and passionate response from the “famous” Don Bosco. The Catholic Church can be destroyed, but it will never be completely destroyed, but in doing so many many souls will be lost and only a small remnant will remain. The SSPX is quite large and probably doesnt resemble a remant as foretold by prophecy in the latter days. The devil is very real and active in our midst, his purpose is to divide and conquer, not to unite and he has been given the powers to do so.

        Squabbling with you lot is not my intention as it was not me who started the controversy, but I will defend what I believe to be true.
        As for BP Williamson one can disagree with him, but there is no need to become uncharitable about it, something you are so good at Don Bosco. Charity is the greatest of all virtues.

        St Paul says: Charity is patient, is kind does not envieth, dealeth not pervesely js not puffed up. Is not ambitious seeketh not their own, is ot provoked to anger thinketh no evil. Rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth with the truth. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things etc etc And now there remaneth faith, hope and charity, but the greatest of these is charity. First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians Chapter 13, 4-13 from the Douay Rheims bible.

        January 22, 2018 at 4:02 am
      • gabriel syme


        What has +Fellay ever said or done which shows that he has given in to modernism? Nothing!

        He has only ever continued his work in a careful and patient manner.

        Why should +Fellay not engage in discussions with Church authorities? Talking is part of how problems are resolved.

        If you chart the course of these discussions over the years, you will see that it is the position of the authorities which has continually made concessions and undergone revisions. The position of the SSPX has remained unchanging.

        Archbishop Lefebvre himself had discussions with the authorities. Were he alive today, would the “resistance” attack him over this, the way they attack Bishop Fellay?

        January 21, 2018 at 10:32 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        @ Gabriel in normal times it is indeed righteous to seek a union with the mainstream Catholic Church, not only desired but most probably an obligation to do so, but we are not living in normal times, Rome has lost its way and has become the seat of the AntiChrist as foretold by Our Lady of La Salette. You cant make a deal with the devil and expect God to work a miracle so everything will be okay. It doesnt work that way, we are to avoid error and evil because we are weak human beings prone to evil ourselves if we dont resist it. In other words you become whom you hang around with. Bp Fellay does not possess some extraordinary graces that he can resist all modern ideas that come from Rome. He is no saint, and even saints avoided championship with heretics less they themselves fall into sin. Now youre probably going to ask me which saints avoided being in the company of heretics and remaing saints. And I’m going to ask which you the opposite, wbich saints sought out the company of heretics and remained saints?

        If I made any spelling mistakes its because Im typing on a tablet and it’s hard to write on these things

        January 22, 2018 at 4:17 am
      • editor


        I notice that you have not answered the key question put to you by Gabriel Syme: What has +Fellay ever said or done which shows that he has given in to modernism?

        Not a single thing.

        Therefore, the malcontents who started this “resistance” to nothing nonsense had no reason so to do. It’s as simple as that.

        As for Alex rightly observing that the real problem is the crisis in the Church and the awful Pope Francis – of course! That’s why those people who muddied the SSPX waters by launching this daft “resistance” to nothing movement, are culpable of causing unnecessary division.

        There are no “saints” – by any Catholic definition – in that rebel movement. It is not inspired by any holy and Catholic desire to see an end to the crisis. It’s precisely because they do NOT want an end to the current irregular status of the SSPX that they have gone down this “resistance” to nothing route.

        Archbishop Lefebvre said: “When Rome calls, we go.” He said this subsequent to an earlier angry comment that we should wait till Rome returns to Tradition (he no doubt realised how silly that sounded, on reflection. Like waiting for a cure before calling the doctor!)

        And, further, he also said (and this was quoted by Bishop Williamson way back when it suited him to do so) that when the time comes for those talks to begin with the Vatican, it would be to the Superior General that this decision fell.

        I just wish this “resistance” to nothing group would launch under a name of their choosing to make it clear that they have broken with the SSPX and we can see, clearly, their real agenda and motivation.

        I suspect that might make them just one more identifiable sedevacantist group and they know that that won’t play well at all with those of us who know the difference between a bad pope and no pope at all.

        Just for the record, Georgina: do you recognise Papa Francis as our legitimately elected pontiff, who holds the papal office, however badly he is exercising it? (I’m putting this question in bold to ensure that it doesn’t get overlooked. Thank you.)

        January 22, 2018 at 10:31 am
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Its very simple and rational Editor, the mere fact that he keeps discussing or negotiating with error filled modernist Vatican officials speaks of intention to unite to it. One does not negotiate and keep at it, if they have no intention to unite with error filled Rome. At one point they just give up, knowing tbey can never change Rome themselves. But no this hasn’t happened and more importantly he has long since stopped discussing the events and goings on with SSPX parishoners as well. What do you think Editor? Obviously you have a very different mindset to it all.
        Conversion can never come, with negotiations it must come through the heart and only God can do that ( convert a person). Heck if Rome were converted the pope would consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary but this hasnt happened either.
        Btw did you read the book, Dictator pope? A very interesting and worthwhile read, highly recommended

        January 22, 2018 at 10:52 am
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Editor I recognise him as an anti pope who is seated on the papal seat of Rome, as I recognise anyone who is sitting on it, legitimate or not. Hopefully that answers your question?

        January 22, 2018 at 11:12 am
      • Lily

        Georgina Varhelyi,

        That’s a slippery answer! “Anti-pope”

        I looked up “anti-pope” for a dictionary definition and found this one in the Encyclopaedia Britannica:-

        “Antipope, in the Roman Catholic church, one who opposes the legitimately elected bishop of Rome, endeavours to secure the papal throne, and to some degree succeeds materially in the attempt.” (with apologies to editor for using “Roman Catholic” – that was in the actual definition, so I had to give it! LOL!)

        There is no other “legitimately elected bishop of Rome” so Pope Francis cannot be an “anti-pope”.

        He was legitimately elected, so your comment doesn’t make sense. Either you accept him as the pope or you don’t. My reading of your comment is that you don’t, which makes you a sedevacantist. Why not just say so?

        January 22, 2018 at 1:11 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Hi Lily I came to the conclusion that pope Francis must be an anti pope after reading the ebook The Dictator pope, how he was “elected” his past life, and what is happening inside the Vatican and the way he rules, its very current and true information. Of course no one can be 100% sure but from has happened perhaps pope Benedict is still pope ( since he was legiti ately and validly elected, still wears the white papal garments and refers to himself as pope Benedict NOT Cardinal Benedict. Is it possible we have two popes? How so? Can anyone explain? Whereas pope Francis was not exactly legitimately elected (he didnt get the exact votes required) but even so was made pope. Pope Benedict was co-erced to resign by other officials who wanted a ore liberal pope. Do you remember when PF was elected and announced to the world? Lightening struck the Vatican, could that have been a sign from God that he was angry?? There are things to consider, and I am open to new information and explanations and opinions.

        January 23, 2018 at 1:23 am
      • Athanasius


        It seems you are more open to speculation and gossip than fact.

        First of all, Pope Benedict did not “resign”. Popes cannot resign given the monarchic nature of the papacy. He abdicated with the words “I renounce the papacy”. Note that he did not say I resign the papacy. And by the way, Benedict has had ample opportunity to tell the world he was “coerced” into abdication, yet he has always denied this. So let’s take him at his word!

        Now, the entire Church accepts the legitimacy of Francis’ papacy, including the entire universal hierarchy. Are you saying that you take a different position to this, that in your opinion he simply is not Pope because you read somewhere that he didn’t get the proper number of votes?

        Here’s a wee bit of advice to you from St. Robert Bellarmine: “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the soul or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior.” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. 2, chap. 29, Opera omnia, Paris: Pedone Lauriel, 1871, vol. 1, p. 418.

        If Pope Francis is an anti-pope then it is for the legitimate authorities to declare the fact, i.e., a future Pope declaring posthumously on his predecessor. It is not for lowly subordinates to make such unauthorised declarations, which proceed from pride and rebellion. I’m sure you’ll see the danger here.

        January 23, 2018 at 3:03 am
      • Athanasius


        You asked Don Bosco if he believed he was the only one going to heaven. Well, given that you have judged Francis an anti-Pope, a judgment you are not authorised by God to make, it would appear that you must believe that all who remain in union with this “anti-Pope” will be lost along with him. That’s pretty much the entire Church, isn’t it?

        January 22, 2018 at 1:56 pm
      • Lily

        Georgina Varhelyi,

        If it’s just about waiting for God to “convert” Rome, there would have been no need for Archbishop Lefebvre to consecrate the bishops in the first place and place the SSPX in the irregular situation at all. It’s not about “negotiations” it’s about filial correction in order to help end the crisis. If the SSPX won’t meet with the authorities in Rome to argue the case for orthodoxy and tradition, who will?

        January 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm
      • Michaela

        Georgina Varhelyi,

        When Our Lord said to “go out into the world, baptising them” he didn’t say “when you feel like it” so we are supposed to be always ready to preach the truth and in the case of Bishop Fellay that means being ready to go to Rome at every possible opportunity. God has chosen to work through his human creatures and that means speaking with those who lack the true faith. Bishop Fellay cannot do other than go to Rome whenever the chance arises. .

        January 22, 2018 at 2:08 pm
      • Athanasius


        I agree with you. I would add, however, that God normally works to restore His Church through human creatures. The great universal miracle of Rome’s conversion that these “Resistance” people say they’re waiting for is not the normal way God works through His Church. The conversion will happen gradually by grace through human instruments like Bishop Fellay and other good prelates. There will be no lightening bolt mass conversion fromone day to the next.

        January 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm
      • Michaela


        “I agree with you. I would add, however, that God normally works to restore His Church through human creatures.”

        That’s exactly what I said! God has chosen to work through us, his human creatures!

        Anything miraculous is an exception, not the normal way of God’s working.

        January 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm
      • Athanasius


        Sorry, I missed that bit.

        January 22, 2018 at 3:25 pm
      • Athanasius


        “…Its very simple and rational Editor, the mere fact that he keeps discussing or negotiating with error filled modernist Vatican officials speaks of intention to unite to it…”

        Does it? Archbishop Lefebvre never stopped discussing with the Roman officials and I’m not aware that he ever compromised a thing. He nearly did on one occasion, but God granted him the grace to recognise the pitfall and he retracted his agreement. Likewise, Bishop Fellay nearly fell into a trap during Pope Benedict’s reign, but again was aved from the mistake by the grace of God. He is much wiser for the experience and has not since given on anything. But the talks must go on with the Pope, especially this Pope who seems to really want to regularise the SSPX situation.

        Those who claim that the talks should not take place with the Vicar of Christ, however cautiously, are simply no longer Catholic. Bishop Williamson has already demonstrated this folly admirably by consecrating three bishops illicitly in circumstances not remotely the same as those faced by Archbiishop Lefebvre. He is consequently and truly excommunicated as a schismatic. You should not follow these angry and divisive people when there is ample safety and legitimacy within the SSPX.

        Besides that, the Apostles went into Synagogues to preach conversion to the Jews. Would you have accused them at the time of seeking rather to unite themselves with the Jews by their discourses and discussions? There really isn’t any difference between what the Apostles did and what Bishop Fellay is doing.

        You’ll win no one back to the truth with bitter zeal!

        January 22, 2018 at 2:09 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Hi Athanasius, the era in which the good Archbishop lived are very different to the times we live in now. It is SO very much worse today. We truly have an evil person on the papal seat of Rome. So many many things have happened since the Archbishop was alive, lack of morality, lack of faith ( people have no faith anymore, and no understanding of it at all). Its been altered beyond recognition. I do not know if the Archbishop tried to make constant negotiations with Rome, its something I’m not aware of whether he did or not? Nevertheless he was a religious man ( man of great faith), what he would do now one can only speculate. But I ask you what is the goal when Rome is currently SO corrupt to co- tinue negotiations at tnis point. What do the SSPX hope to achieve?? No one has ever said anything about this before. It may sound simple to you BUT its not to me. I would love an explanation!

        As for condemning ( in a matter of speaking you are condemning when you announce to the world ) that people cannot be Catholic if they oppose it, regardless of when the union takes place. Be careful what you say, because when you condemn others you also tend to condemn yourself.
        I notice on this comment section that everyone is very anti BP Williamson and quick to condemn him but very pro BP Fellay elevating him to almost god like status. People say I trust him no matter what, he says and does etc….. And yet he is just a mere man nothing else. Not a saint with great faith, really he isn’t much. The only thing that elevates him was that he has been constantly elected as “head honcho” of the SSPX so to speak. I cannot see the attraction? From what I gather about the SSPX supporters today is that the ones defending the SSPX positions are the same ones who are the MOST loyal and faithful followers of BP Fellay. So its not so much the SSPX you are defending but BP Fellay himself. Everyone I’ve talked is the same, you can’t deny it. Sorry but I’m not a fan. And I guess there ends the conversation.

        January 23, 2018 at 1:59 am
      • Athanasius


        First off, this is not a blog of cult followers of Bishop Fellay, it is a blog where many support the efforts of the present Superior General of the SSPX, who remains faithful to the spirit of its founder. That Bishop Fellay has faults is undoubtedly true, we all have. But he does his best in very difficult circumstances and with great responsibilities on his his shoulders. Now I hope that clears up your misunderstanding about our motives here.

        You say that things are much worse now than in Archbishop Lefebvre’s day, yet we see today a widespread availablity of the ancient Mass of the Church throughout the world that the Archbishop did not see. We witness the growth of many Traditional institutions that His Grace could only have dreamed of. In his day there was global persecution of the SSPX by the Church’s authorities. Now many in the hierarchy, including Popes Benedict XVI and Francis, have come to recognise the fecundity of the Archbishop’s holy life and the good his Society has done for the priesthood and the Church. This was unthinkable during the reign of John Paul II, the Pope of the Assisi scandals that broke Archbishop Lefebvre’s heart.

        All the Archbishop ever asked for was that Rome recognise the legitimacy of his Society, which had been canonically erected and then illicitly suppressed. He wanted only the freedom to form priests for the old Mass and the defence of Sacred Tradition, which they would not give him. Now the Popes are proposing exactly these freedoms and it is for Bishop Fellay to decide if the proposition is genuine and safe or a very elaborate ruse, which is unlikely. In order to weigh the situation, His Excellency must talk to the legitimate authorities. Cutting himself off will achieve nothing for the Church.

        If the offer is genuine and the SSPX regains its canonical status without having to compromise, then just think of the numbers of souls that will flock to the SSPX who are presently persuaded that they should keep a distance. That’s what it’s about – souls and helping the Church in crisis. Our Lord has not abandoned His Church, nor should we.

        The Archbishop never stopped talking to the Pope because he loved the Church and the papacy. He viwed the matter correctly from a supernatural point of view, not the natural point of view of Bishop Fellay’s “Resistance” detractors.

        As for Bishop Williamson, suffice to say I have thirty years of knowledge of the SSPX and I know a lot more about Bishop Williamson than you do. You will just have to trust me in this one.

        January 23, 2018 at 3:30 am
      • editor


        After writing that “We truly have an evil person on the papal seat of Rome.” you go on to write ” people have no faith anymore, and no understanding of it at all”. Further on your say: ” Be careful what you say, because when you condemn others you also tend to condemn yourself.”

        Well, it is very elementary Christian doctrine that we are prohibited from making any definitive judgment on anyone else. We may note that someone has acted in an evil way (e.g. a murderer has done something evil) but not that the person/murderer is evil. Tabloid journalists do it all the time, of course. Makes for good headlines, but it’s un-Christian.

        So, that takes care of all three of the above quotes from your post. You appear not to know or understand that elementary tenet of the Faith when you judge the Pope himself to be “evil” [which we cannot possibly know, since we are unable to read his soul] and thus you risk being judged (by God) to the same standard at your Judgment – not by us, since we are prohibited from judging any soul to be evil.

        Athanasius has responded very clearly to your other point about Bishop Fellay, so I’ll leave it there.

        January 23, 2018 at 9:06 am
      • Athanasius


        “Gabriel in normal times it is indeed righteous to seek a union with the mainstream Catholic Church, not only desired but most probably an obligation to do so, but we are not living in normal times, Rome has lost its way and has become the seat of the AntiChrist as foretold by Our Lady of La Salette.”

        In “normal times” there would be no need to seek union with the mainstream Catholic Church because there would be no crisis of faith.

        How do you know Rome has become the seat of the AntiChrist? If this LaSalette prediction were to come true then Our Lord’s promise concerning the “gates of Hell” would be nullified. I’d be a little careful with LaSalette and its predictions, and more careful yet with insinuations that the Conciliar Popes are instruments of Satan.

        January 22, 2018 at 9:32 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        In “normal times” there would be no need to seek union with the mainstream Catholic Church because there would be no crisis of faith. EXACTLY. It was a hypothectical situation, but things can change for the better, for with God anything is possible. However, if history has anything to do with it, God will probably only change the world when the amount of sin gets too great and mercy through the Mass has been destroyed. That is perhaps a chastisement will come to cleanse the world? All hypothetical probabilities of course.

        How do I know that Rome has become the seat of the antichrist? Well I read, I watch videos I listen to the news and I think and conclude. Its easy to put one and one together. One question do you do much reading yourself? I highly recommend an ebook called The Dictator pope, and to surround yourself with learned Catholics who read a lot of good Catholic books. They will send you articles about what is happening in Carholic surroundings these days. We are obligated to learn the faith, its one of the teachings of Catholicism. The bible says: We must stay awake for we know not the day or hour when the Lord will come.

        January 23, 2018 at 2:15 am
      • Athanasius


        I have been reading about the crisis in the Church for more than 35 years, though I am careful about the materials I read and the conclusions I reach. I am also a very widely published Traditional Catholic writer, so you’ll be happy to know that I am well up on my Catholic studies and duties.

        May I say in this regard that an ebook, some videos and the news hardly constitutes a proper Catholic understanding of the present crisis in the Church, which is why you have concluded wrongly that Francis is an Anti-Pope.

        Stick with the teaching of the saints in these matters, such as St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Thomas Aquinas, and pay heed to the writings and utterances of respected and trusted Churchmen of our time. These are the sources you should draw from. Avoid the sensational!

        January 23, 2018 at 3:40 am
      • Athanasius


        First of all, the ship you refer to, the Catholic Church, may be taking on water but it cannot sink according to Our Lord’s promise. The SSPX is a safety vessel tied to the ship offering assistance to those in danger until the ship is put right. “The Resistance” is a separate vessel that has cut ties with the ship altogether for fear of drowning. You see the difference?

        January 21, 2018 at 11:25 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Nice analogy Athanasius, but the Titanic DID sink and only those in the lifeboats survived, everyone else drowned thats a fact. So in
        separating themselves they actually saved themselves.

        January 23, 2018 at 2:19 am
  • Lily

    There’s obviously some resistance people voting in the poll because a minority are voting “no”! LOL!

    January 18, 2018 at 7:14 pm
  • Michaela

    The article, I’m not sure about. I doubt if the Vatican would go to that much bother to “trap” or infiltrate the SSPX, I can’t see it, myself. In any case, the resistance people are doing a good job of wrecking the SSPX so the Vatican won’t need to worry and they won’t be making any deals with the insignificant resistance. Job done!

    January 19, 2018 at 3:46 pm
    • Don Bosco

      I’m not sure either. I don’t think there’s a plan to divide the Society. I think what we are seeing with the “Resistance” is exactly what Archbishop Lefebvre warned of when he said that a schismatic mentality might develop if this issue with the canonical situation went on indefinitely.

      January 20, 2018 at 2:34 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Don Bosco,

        That’s exactly what I think – it’s their schismatic mentality that drives the “Resistance” people, God help them. Archbishop Lefebvre was right to worry about that. The longer the crisis goes on, with the Society in a non-regular relationship with the diocese, the more likely the number of those with schismatic ideas, will grow.

        January 20, 2018 at 5:01 pm
  • Lily

    The number of resistance people voting in the poll is growing – the vote for them is bigger than last time I checked it, LOL!

    January 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm
    • Josephine

      I’ve also noticed the poll result – right now running at 22.5% “No – Vatican not playing the resistance for fools”.

      If they’re coming to vote, why not comment to defend their position? Answer: because it’s indefensible.

      These resistance people are the worst enemies of tradition.

      January 19, 2018 at 10:54 pm
      • Don Bosco

        I agree. It’s quite tragic, as they see themselves as the only hope for Traditionalism!

        January 20, 2018 at 2:35 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Err sorry to burst your bubble Don, but Resistance is not the only hope for traditionalism, its whats in people’s hearts that counts ( God not only sees peoples actions but their intentions as well) Or do you believe you are the only going to heaven? You may get a big surprise!!

        January 22, 2018 at 4:46 am
      • Athanasius


        Regardless of what is in the heart, schism is schism. The only difference is if the heart intends well, the heresy is material rather than formal. But it’s still heresy and it must be challenged if souls are to stay Catholic.

        The only ones who will go to heaven are those who die Catholic, united with the Pope, at least in spirit. Those who claim the Pope is a heretic and therefore excommunicated or otherwise unworthy of our prayers and attempts to help the Church by negotiation with him are no longer Catholic. That’s just common sense.

        January 22, 2018 at 1:53 pm
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        No Athanasius pope Francis has made public announcements that he hates Traditionalists. He declared publicly he doesnt believe in a Catholic God declared that atheists could go to heaven and its not necessary to be Catholic to go to heaven. He also changed Church ruling, were you not aware of the Synod? Where the Church is allowing homosexuals and divorced couples to receive holy communion. Yes some Bishops objected but that made pope VERY angry indeed. And thats not a pleasant sight. If these are not formal declarations of heresy I dont know what is.

        January 23, 2018 at 2:28 am
      • Georgina Varhelyi

        Athanasius, What is in the heart refers to sinners, and to us all. God gives us knowledge and a conscience and if we go against our conscience he judges us. What you are referring to is theology, however, in these times the shepherd has been struck and the sheep are scattered. Confusion is everywhere. This is why its MOST important today to study the faith and act according to both our knowledge and conscious, because from these YOU and I and everyone else will be judged.

        Can I ask what you will do when there is no Mass and confession available will God send you to hell? Please answer. Since you wont be united to the Church anymore

        January 23, 2018 at 2:38 am
    • Athanasius


      Some Portestants might be voting in the poll. There’s no reall difference between them and the “Resistance” movement, which is equally contemptuous of the Pope and equally schismatic.

      January 22, 2018 at 2:11 pm
  • gandalfolorin

    “Then Jerobaal, who is the same as Gedeon, rising up early and all the people with him, came to the fountain that is called Harad. Now the camp of Madian was in the valley on the north side of the high hill. [2] And the Lord said to Gedeon: The people that are with thee are many, and Madian shall not be delivered into their hands: lest Israel should glory against me, and say: I was delivered by my own strength. [3] Speak to the people, and proclaim in the hearing of all, I Whosoever is fearful and timorous, let him return. So two and twenty thousand men went away from mount Galaad and returned home, and only ten thousand remained. [4] And the Lord said to Gedeon: The people are still too many, bring them to the waters, and there I will try them: and of whom I shall say to thee, This shall go with thee, let him go: whom I shall forbid to go, let him return. [5] And when the people were come down to the waters, the Lord said to Gedeon: They that shall lap the water with their tongues, as dogs are wont to lap, thou shalt set apart by themselves: but they that shall drink bowing down their knees, shall be on the other side.

    “[6] And the number of them that had lapped water, casting it with the hand to their mouth, was three hundred men: and all the rest of the multitude had drunk kneeling. [7] And the Lord said to Gedeon: By the three hundred men, that lapped water, I will save you, and deliver Madian into thy hand: but let all the rest of the people return to their place. [8] So taking victuals and trumpets according to their number, he ordered all the rest of the multitude to depart to their tents: and he with the three hundred gave himself to the battle. Now the camp of Madian was beneath him in the valley. [9] The same night the Lord said to him: Arise, and go down into the camp: because I have delivered them into thy hand. [10] But if thou be afraid to go alone, let Phara thy servant go down with thee.” (Judges 7: 1-10)

    2] “Lest Israel”: By this we see that God will not choose for his instruments in great achievements, which depend purely on his grace, such as, through pride and self conceit, will take the glory to themselves.
    [7] “That lapped water”: These were preferred that took the water up in their hands, and so lapped it, before them who laid themselves quite down to the waters to drink: which argued a more eager and sensual disposition. []

    As this passage from Sacred Scripture reminds us, God chooses whom He will to be His instruments. If Archbishop Lefebvre was the instrument of God, and if the work of the Archbishop continues as God’s instrument, then it matters only that the SSPX continue to do God’s will in upholding Tradition. It does not matter that we are not as many in number as we might have been, or that we are in serious disagreement with others who style themselves upholders of Tradition. What matters is that the Society continue to do what it has always done: Hold fast to the Traditions. Continue to do what the Church has always done. It is in perseverance that we will conquer under the banner of Our Lady.

    January 20, 2018 at 6:11 am
  • Don Bosco


    Yes, you are correct that the quotation must be applied carefully. I certainly wasn’t meaning to call our Alex a “swine”. All I meant was that we can’t keep producing the same answers on request when the person is simply going to tell us he agrees time and time again.

    January 21, 2018 at 9:19 pm
    • Alex F

      I’ve been called worse! And I’ve called people a lot worse! 😉

      January 21, 2018 at 10:35 pm
  • Dr. Judy Meissner

    The Modernist Divide and Conquer strategy is real and extremely effective. It is not Bishop Fellay who has fallen into their trap but, rather, the priests who abandoned him and the Society to which they made promises. By their defection, these foolish priests have weakened the single most effective force for Tradition the post-Vatican II Church has ever seen, all for fear of a theoretical compromise with Rome that has never happened. Rather than confronting the Modernists with thousands of priests and religious, the clerical and consecrated souls of the Society numbers less than 700 while the ranks of defectors suffer further ruptures and isolation. The enemies of the Church could not have hoped for more.

    January 22, 2018 at 4:10 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Dr Judy Meissner,

      I couldn’t agree more. Reading comments from people trying to defend these “foolish” priests and the unthinking lay people following like robots, is dispiriting. As you say, they have weakened the “single most effective force for Tradition in the post-Vatican II Church”. There are actually priests in the “mainstream” who rely on the SSPX to keep the faith alive and well until the crisis is over and they must get really annoyed at these so-called resisters. You are so right, the enemies of the Church really couldn’t have hoped for more.

      January 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm
    • RCAVictor

      Dr. Judy Meissner,

      Very true, and essentially a re-statement of Brian McCall’s theory, but one wonders what sort of formation is being given to these SSPX priests, when some of them are so easily deceived by transparently false arguments.

      January 22, 2018 at 6:44 pm
    • editor

      Dr Judy Meissner,

      Well said. On the button and then some. It seems self-evident that – without a single shred of evidence – these malcontents simply decided to go public with their fiction that Bishop Fellay was not to be trusted, that he would easily fall into some kind of Vatican trap, and that, hey presto, not to worry, all we have to do is to place our trust in them instead and all would be well. Numpties.

      The Church’s enemies, as you rightly point out, could not have hoped for more – the daft “resistance to nothing” people doing their work for them: how “cool” is that? Answer… freezing cold!

      January 22, 2018 at 8:44 pm
    • Lionel

      “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”
      This is it.
      That is why I shall not argue on the issue…

      January 22, 2018 at 9:45 pm
    • Lionel

      Dr. Judy Meissner,
      “The Modernist Divide and Conquer strategy is real and extremely effective”
      This is completely true… and even predicted in the Gospel!

      January 22, 2018 at 9:50 pm
  • RCAVictor

    Does anyone know how Prof. McCall came up with the figure of “over 1,800 priests and religious (SSPX proper + affiliated communities)” had there been no defections?

    January 22, 2018 at 6:42 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Does this help?

      January 22, 2018 at 8:23 pm
      • RCAVictor


        A very calculated response….

        January 22, 2018 at 9:01 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        You’re definitely in the wrong business: show-business is your calling – specifically comedy – put simply, you’re a scream… 😀

        January 22, 2018 at 11:18 pm
  • RCAVictor

    I’ve been meaning to post what I was told by an SSPX retreat-master in 2015 regarding the “resistance” – namely, that this “resistance” baloney is really a cover for a personal vendetta by Bp. Williamson against Bp. Fellay, in revenge for being removed from the Seminary faculty some years ago.

    That certainly fits the character of their claims. It also fits the apparently widespread admiration for Bp. Williamson that existed (exists?) among Society seminarians and clergy. So once again I ask: what sort of priestly formation causes admiration for a megalomaniac?

    (I suppose that if millions believed Luther’s fraudulent “doctrines,” some dozens are likely to be duped by Bp. Williamson’s twisted rhetoric. In other words, human nature hasn’t changed much since 1517.)

    January 22, 2018 at 9:09 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      That’s interesting. Makes me think that, perhaps, Bishop Williamson is one of these people…

      January 22, 2018 at 11:24 pm
  • Georgina Varhelyi

    BP Fellays old sermon, if anyone is interested

    January 23, 2018 at 3:21 am
  • crofterlady

    Georgina, I have read the link and I now ask what point are you making?

    January 23, 2018 at 3:07 pm
    • RCAVictor


      I second your question. To quote something that either proves nothing, or proves the exact opposite, is typical of the “resistance.” The same fraudulent tactic has been used ever since they came out with a document, years ago, called “Sources for Studying the Crisis in the SSPX,” a document which, predictably enough, not only fails to prove that Bp. Fellay is selling out the Society, but which actually proves the complete opposite!

      Every time one of these deluded (or malicious, take your pick) people opens their mouth, they add further evidence to the statement that this is all a personal vendetta by Bp. Williamson against Bp. Fellay,

      The “resistance” is a complete and twisted fraud, Georgina. You would be well-advised to get as far away from them and their malicious intentions as soon as possible.

      January 23, 2018 at 6:31 pm
    • editor


      And I third your question! I confess to not having studied the stuff to PhD level but if the point is that Bishop Fellay was looking at purchasing a church in Rome – so what? Of course that would be a good idea.

      I just wish they’d purchase a larger one in Glasgow first, with no hill or steps to climb and with carpark and priests’ house attached. 😀

      January 23, 2018 at 9:35 pm
  • editor

    I’ve just received the following email and after a quick search, cannot find any thread where we discussed this Liverpool priest, so I presume my letter to him resulted from contact by email with the Liverpool reader who sent me the following report. Given his remark about the SSPX (showing his own loss of Catholic Faith) and bearing in mind my repeated observation over the years that when a priest loses the Faith, his morals quickly follow, I thought it best to post the email on this – our most recent – SSPX thread:


    [Editor] this is the priest who said a few years back anyone who attended SSPX Masses inflicted wound on the body of Christ. You wrote to him, he was almost canonised in Liverpool.

    “A Catholic priest has appeared in court charged with possessing and making indecent photographs of children.

    Father Thomas Wood appeared before Sefton Magistrates last Wednesday (February 21) when he faced two charges.

    He was charged with possessing indecent photographs of children, and making an indecent photograph of a child. Both offences are said to have taken place at an address on Southport Road, Lydiate, in November 2015.

    Wood, 55, of Liverpool Road in Birkdale, did not enter a plea and was bailed. Magistrates sent the case to Liverpool crown court.

    Wood was a long serving priest at Our Lady Star of the Sea church in Seaforth, playing a role when the church celebrated its centenary. He presented a 100 year-old statue to a local school.

    In 2015 he moved to a new role in Lydiate, when he became a priest at Our Lady’s and St Gregory the Great. He stepped down from that role last March.

    Wood also worked within the Archdiocese of Liverpool’s tribunal, which deals with church law. Wood no longer holds any role with the church.

    A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Liverpool told the ECHO: “Rev Thomas Wood of the Archdiocese of Liverpool appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court on 21st February 2018 charged with possessing and making indecent images of children. He is to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on 21st March 2018.

    “Father Wood is not in ministry and the charge does not relate to his work in the archdiocese.

    “The archdiocesan authorities have co-operated fully with the police and statutory bodies in this investigation in line with the robust safeguarding procedures which are in place to protect the vulnerable.”

    Wood will appear at Liverpool Crown court on March 21. ENDS. Source – Liverpool Echo

    March 3, 2018 at 9:31 am

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