The Society of St. Pius X’s relations with Rome, according to Archbishop Pozzo

“Let us not set foot in the opposing camp, because we would thus be giving the enemy a proof of our weakness, which the enemy would try to interpret as a sign of weakness and complicity.”   – St. Pius X

The relations of the Society of St. Pius X with Rome

After the consecration of Fr. Jean-Michel Faure by Bishop Richard Williamson on March 19, 2015, at the monastery of Santa Cruz de Nova Friburgo (Brazil), the Roman press agency Media questioned Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission. The latter took advantage of the opportunity to make a statement on the state of the relations between the Society of St. Pius X and Rome, declaring that beyond the doctrinal difficulties that exist, the problems are “within the Society”.

According to the Roman prelate quoted by I.Media: “The pope expects the Society of St. Pius X to decide to enter [the Church—Ed.], and we are ready at any time with a canonical plan that is already known,” namely the creation of a personal prelature. “It will take a little time for things to be clarified internally and for Bishop Fellay to be able to obtain a broad enough consensus before making this step.”—It is we who put this claim in italics.

At the Society of St. Pius X’s General House, they are wondering about Archbishop Pozzo’s intention in the last statement, which does not correspond to reality: Is this his view of the situation? A personal wish? Or an attempt to introduce division within the Society?

Bishop Fellay has already responded to the Ecclesia Dei Commission several times, orally and in writing. What makes canonical recognition in the form of a personal prelature impossible at this time is essentially the “doctrinal difficulties”, namely, Rome’s demand that we accept Vatican Council II and the reforms that followed it in a “hermeneutic of continuity”.

The informal meetings between the members of the Society of St. Pius X and several bishops, requested by the Ecclesia Dei Commission, are taking place within this specific context; they are supposed to help make the Society and its apostolate better known, but above all its doctrinal positions. In fact, these meetings render the doctrinal differences ever more clear. And the Society’s Roman interlocutors are obliged to acknowledge that many questions remain “open”, which is a way of acknowledging that our objections are far from being resolved.

Because of this observation, the Superior General maintains that it is necessary to present to the Roman authorities the Society’s positions in their entirety, and not to waver on these positions, which are merely the positions of all the popes before Vatican II.

The French university professor Luc Perrin shared his thoughts on the matter on the Forum Catholique on March 20, claiming that it is no use “pretending that all is well in the best possible Roman heaven.” He wrote realistically: “(Archbishop Pozzo) has been saying exactly the same thing ever since the illusions of a speedy agreement that the boiling Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos entertained in 2000. John Paul II was just as convinced in 1978-1979 that full communion was right around the corner: we know what came of that, but in Rome, Teilhardian or silly 1962-John XXIII-style optimism seems still to be in style.”

“One must not discourage Billancourt or the different prelates of the Ecclesia Dei Commission—far be it from me to suggest such an idea—and it is good to see that a Roman authority has a faith solid enough to resist the wear of time, but… it is not very useful to play the enraptured insider, levitating above St. Peter’s dome surrounded by smiling little angels playing their lyres…, this heavenly choir chanting an In Paradisum: ‘the agreement, the agreement, soon the agreement, the agreement is here.’

“To begin with, if the different stupidities committed in Rome throughout this long affair were pointed out, it would bring us back down to earth. A short list for His Eminence Cardinal Muller and Archbishop Pozzo: a) thou shalt be distrustful of silly optimism, but with a supernatural hope in the promises of unity in veritate; b) thou shalt abandon a botched discussion and shalt not count the time: why not resume the discussions brusquely and intemperately interrupted by Rome in 2011? Or at least work towards resuming them; b) thou shalt construct a full communion step by step: rather than a preconceived and not necessarily very good ‘canonical solution’—a personal prelature has plenty of flaws—today, it seems to me more realistic to solve certain practical problems step by step…,

(given) the fragility of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum since the election of Pope Francis who, while confirming it, has already made a serious dent in it with the Franciscans of the Immaculate, and is eroding it with little phrases that cannot but arouse worries.”

Regarding these “practical problems” that could be resolved by concrete gestures, allow us to recall that when the teaching Dominicans of Fanjeaux made their pilgrimage to Rome—from February 9 to 14, 2015—200 religious, and 950 students accompanied by a hundred teachers and parents, were not able to have a church in which one of their chaplains could celebrate the traditional Mass… because they belong to the Society of St. Pius X. Soothing words are volatile; the concrete facts are far more eloquent.

(sources: I.Media/FSSPX/FC —DICI, -27-2015)


No capitulation demand on SSPX!

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre  we are not of this religion

Mgr. Guido Pozzo reports on the latest developments in relations between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X

In an interview with authoritative French weekly magazine Famille Chrétienne, the Secretary of Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Guido Pozzo, discussed the state of relations between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X following Mgr. Fellay’s recent meeting with the Prefect of the Doctrine for the Faith.

From the interview, it would seem that the Holy See does not intend to put any pressure on Mgr. Lefebvre’s followers but would like an agreement to be reached, although the timeframe for this is uncertain. What we are given to understand here, is that Rome intends to show greater flexibility on any aspect that does not regard doctrine.

In 2009 Benedict XVI decided to revoke the  excommunication of Lefebvrian bishops who had been illicitly ordained by Mgr. Lefebvre in 1988. This was a first and essential step toward the resumption of a constructive dialogue. Just a first step, however, because there were still some big doctrinal questions which needed to be addressed. The Ecclesia Dei Commission which has close links with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is the main instrument in this dialogue process.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview is that which addressed the sticking points in said dialogue. Mgr. Pozzo underlined that “any reservations or positions the Society of St. Pius X may have regarding aspects which are not related to faith but to pastoral questions or the prudential teaching of the Magisterium do not necessarily need to withdrawn or relinquished.” Here Rome seems to be showing an attempt to alter positions expressed in the past: According to Mgr. Pozzo, the fraternity’s reservations are linked to “aspects of pastoral care or the prudential teaching of the Magisterium.” The monsignor’s statement suggests that since these criticisms and reservations are no longer labeled as “doctrinal” the Lefebvrians could legitimately continue to express them.

Resist Bishop Fellay and Neo-SSPX!

Resist Bishop Fellay and Neo-SSPX!

This approach is expressed more clearly in the following part of the interview:  “The Holy See does not wish to impose a capitulation on the SSPX. On the contrary, it invites the fraternity to stand beside it within the same framework of doctrinal principles that is necessary in guaranteeing the same adhesion to the faith and Catholic doctrine on the Magisterium and the Tradition. At the same time, there is room for further reflection on the reservations the fraternity has expressed regarding certain aspects and the wording of the Second Vatican Council documents as well as some reforms that followed but which do not refer to subjects which are dogmatically or doctrinally indisputable.”

 Finally, one other very important clarification was made: “There is no doubt that the teachings of the Second Vatican Council vary a great deal in terms of how authoritative and binding they are depending on the text. So, for example, the Lumen Gentium Constitution on the Church and the Dei Verbum on the Divine Revelation are doctrinal declarations even though no dogmatic definition was given to them”, whereas the declarations on religious freedom, non-Christian religions and the decree on ecumenism “are authoritative and binding to a different and lesser degree.”

It is unclear how long this process is going to take: “I don’t think it is possible to say yet when this process will conclude,” Mgr. Pozzo said. Both sides are committed to taking things step by step. “There will be no unexpected shortcuts; the clearly stated aim is to promote unity through the generosity of the universal Church led by the successor of Peter.”

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Sermon Padre Hewko The Holy Father

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SSPX on Interim Report: Striking resemblance to scandalous Kasper statements

Cardinal Erdo -

Synod on the family: a doctrinal revolution under a pastoral mask

(DICI) – On Monday October 13, 2014, the Relator General of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, Cardinal Peter Erdö (image), Primate of Hungary, published an Interim Report that gives an idea of the tenor of the debates conducted behind closed doors for a week already, and will continue for another.

What strikes the reader at first is finding in this report the scandalous statements made by the progressive Cardinal Walter Kasper in an interview with journalist Andrea Tornielli on September 18th, almost a month ago.  As though everything was already foreseen….  Judge for yourself:

Cardinal Kasper, September 18th:  “Church doctrine is not a closed system: the Second Vatican Council teaches us that there is a development, leading towards an eventual enrichment. I wonder if a deeper understanding similar to what we saw in ecclesiology is possible in this case (i.e. that of divorced Catholics who have remarried civilly – editor’s note): although the Catholic Church is Christ’s true Church, there are elements of ecclesiality beyond the institutional boundaries of the Church. Couldn’t some elements of sacramental marriage also be recognized in civil marriages in certain cases? For example, a lifelong commitment, mutual love and care, Christian life and a public declaration of commitment that do not exist in common-law marriages.”

Cardinal Erdö, October 13th:  “[A] significant hermeneutic key is found in the teaching of Vatican Council II, which, although it affirms that “the one Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church,” also declares that “many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure … these elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward Catholic unity” (Lumen Gentium, 8).  In this light, the value and consistency of natural marriage must first be emphasized. Some wounds whether the sacramental fullness of marriage does not exclude the possibility of recognizing positive elements even in the imperfect forms that may be found outside this nuptial situation, which are nevertheless ordered in relation to it. The doctrine of levels of communion, formulated by Vatican Council II, confirms the idea of a structured way of participating in the Mysterium Ecclesiae by baptized persons.  In the same, perspective, which we may describe as inclusive, the Council makes it possible to appreciate the positive elements present in other religions (cf. Nostra Aetate, 2) and cultures, despite their limits and their insufficiencies (cf.Redemptoris Missio, 55).”  [Interim Report, paragraphs 17-19]

In an interview granted to DICI on October 3rd, Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, had shown the specious reasoning of Cardinal Kasper:  “He proposes applying pastorally to marriage the new principles concerning the Church that were spelled out at the Council in the name of ecumenism:  there are elements of ecclesiality outside the Church.  He moves logically from ecclesial ecumenism to matrimonial ecumenism:  thus, in his opinion, there are elements of Christian marriage outside of the sacrament.  To see things concretely, just ask spouses what they would think of ‘ecumenical’ marital fidelity, or fidelity in diversity!”

In the March 15, 2014, issue of Il Foglio, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna, responded to Cardinal Kasper’s proposals about giving communion to the divorced-and-remarried during the Consistory of February 20th of this year:  “Therefore, there is such a thing as extramarital human sexuality that the Church considers legitimate.  But that negates the central pillar of the Church’s teaching on sexuality.  At that point someone might wonder: why not approve cohabitation?  Or homosexual unions?”

Cardinal Erdö’s report opens up supposedly “pastoral” perspectives in two directions:  “A new dimension of today’s pastoral theology consists in understanding the positive reality of civil marriage and alsocohabitation, taking into account the due differences…. Furthermore in such common-law marriages, it is possible to perceive authentic family values, or at least the wish for them. Pastoral care should always start from these positive aspects….  Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?”  [Interim Report, paragraphs 36-38-50]

These propositions—which purportedly claim to be merely “pastoral” without any doctrinal implication, just like at the Second Vatican Council—will be subject to debate by the members of the Extraordinary Synod this week and in all dioceses during the year 2014-2015, before the meeting of the Ordinary Synod that is to be held in October 2015.

But already, by the very admission of Cardinals Kasper and Erdo, we can say that, as Vatican II introduced ecumenism with its notion of more or less perfect communion, the Synod is working to propose the ecumenical marriage with a modular notion of indissolubility, that is to say, more or less soluble in the “pastoral”.

On October 3, Bishop Fellay said: “we blame the Council for making this artificial distinction between doctrine and pastoral practice, because pastoral practice must follow from doctrine.  Through multiple pastoral concessions, substantial changes have been introduced in the Church, and its doctrine has been affected.  This is what happened during and after the Council, and we denounce the same strategy that is being used today against the morality of marriage.”

Source : FSSPX/MG – DICI