A Commentary on Rome's Lifting of the SSPX "Excommunications" of 1988[Note from Gerry Matatics: I do not necessarily agree with every opinion of this guest writer (a friend of mine) -- I do not share, for example, his certitude on the validity of the SSPX bishops' consecration (expressed in his closing sentence), nor do I agree with him on other matters not touched upon in his essay -- but his essay essentially says what I've been saying when asked what I think of the recent developments between Rome and the SSPX, and he has kindly granted permission for his essay to be reproduced here "as is." I shall have my own essay on the SSPX posted on my website later this month.]
Quo Vadis, SSPX?
The Society of St. Pius X
after the Lifting of
the “Excommunications” of 1988
Special Guest Commentary by Gregorius
used with permission
“The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly” ―St. Cyprian, cited by Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos, 1928, par. 10
“We must be on guard against minimizing these [Traditionalist] movements. Without a doubt, they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them too firmly.” ―Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (Ignatius Press, 1987), pp. 389-90
On January 24, 2009—almost exactly 50 years since the calling of Vatican II by John XXIII—, the Vatican released a decree of the Congregation of Bishops, dated January 21, 2009 and signed by “Cardinal” Battista Re on behalf of Benedict XVI, declaring that the “excommunications” the four SSPX bishops had allegedly automatically incurred in 1988, were being lifted. [Clarification: Gregorius says “allegedly” as the New Church's canon law is null and void, and no Antipope has the power to excommunicate anyone anyway.] The full text of the decree of rehabilitation can be found here:
On May 20, 2005, about a month after the election of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger as “Pope” Benedict XVI, Novus Ordo Watch published the following prediction on its web site regarding Ratzinger's expected modus operandi as chief modernist of the Vatican:
Catholic traditionalists have hitherto been the last great resistance against the New Church's complete destruction of Catholicism. In order to succeed fully in implementing the New Religion, therefore, the Novus Ordo Church must once and for all break down the traditional Catholic resistance. In what follows we propose what we believe Benedict XVI has planned to bring about the demise of Traditional Catholicism. We put these considerations before you today, before the plan is carried out, that you may know to beware of the great dangers ahead and identify them as such as they come to pass.
(1) Benedict XVI will seek to destroy the traditional Catholic resistance not by attacking it, but by neutralizing it: he will seek to undermine its reason for being.
(2) As time goes on, Benedict XVI will bend over backwards to appear conservative, even traditional; he will do everything in his power to reconcile with and fully regularize the Society of St. Pius X and similar traditionalist groups. He will allow all Novus Ordo priests to say the traditional Mass and perhaps even command that the traditional Mass be said on a regular basis in every Novus Ordo parish. (This reintroduction of the traditional Mass in regular parish life will be absolutely essential.) He will lure good-willed but confused and battle-weary traditionalists by letting them voice their concerns concerning Vatican II and the New Mass and fully accept their reservations concerning these. He may even reform the New Mass into a more conservative liturgy. He will say that it is time to come to the aid and comfort of the one faction in the Church still marginalized and neglected for so long, namely, the traditionalists. He will pretend to have an open mind and heart for them and do everything in his power to regularize their status, with the ultimate goal of having all traditionalists be part of the New Church, under the tacit banner, however, of "unity in diversity."
(5) Benedict XVI will be very successful in this endeavor. He will be successful mainly because many traditionalists are tired of fighting. They are worn out from the battle. They will welcome the illusion of a "traditional Pope" who will finally "restore the Church." Benedict will take advantage of this unique moment. (http://www.novusordowatch.org/whattoexpect.htm)
As stated, Novus Ordo Watch published this prediction before Fr. Ratzinger would do his damage, precisely so that good-willed but battle-weary Traditionalists would not fall prey to the snares of the man who has so often manifested his opposition to the True Faith.
Alas, not everyone has heeded the warning.
The Remnant comes to Ratzinger's Defense
Already, Christopher Ferrara, columnist for the pseudo-Traditionalist newspaper The Remnant, is hailing the lifting of the excommunications as a “courageous” and “decisive” act “in favor of Tradition” on the part of Benedict (http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2009-0131-ferrara-triumph_and_tribulation.htm)—despite Ferrara's pre-2005 misgivings about Ratzinger being an “ecclesial termite ... tearing down even as he makes busy with the appearance of building up” (emphasis added, http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/archive-ratzinger%20consecrates.htm). The man he once sarcastically referred to as “our only friend in the Vatican” is now—without having changed anything other than the color of his clerical garb—the Great Restorer of Tradition!
The blindness of the pseudo-Traditionalists is staggering. Ferrara wastes no time critiquing the position taken by Novus Ordo Watch: “Nor can the Pope’s decision be dismissed by the usual conspiracy-mongers as part of a sinister neo-Modernist plot to capture and neutralize the Society.” Imagine that—a sinister neo-modernist plot against the Church! Who in the last 50 years could possibly have thought of such an idea?! It is hard to believe that the Remnant would seriously criticize the very thing the effects of which they have been reporting in their newspaper since its inception in 1967! What did the great Pope St. Pius X do if not attempt to crush a sinister modernist plot bent upon destroying the Church and neutralizing the Faith?
One cannot help but be shocked at the incredibly silly and gullible position of Ferrara, who appears to have learned nothing from 50 years of modernism in action: “That the Holy Ghost is at work in our Pope is seen in his decision, contrary to all worldly wisdom, to regularize the Society despite the worldwide scandal caused by one of its bishops.”
Why is the Remnant showing such a colossal lack of good judgment, having apparently let go of all defenses against the snares of neo-modernism? Where is their understanding of the nature of liberalism? Why are they so gaga over union with a modernist? Why do they lose all common sense when they hear a concession concerning a “silent apostasy” that comes from the lips of the very Great Apostate who was—to a very large extent—responsible for it and its most driving force for nearly a quarter of a century (John Paul II)?
However the case may be, after 20 years of canon-law gymnastics, the Society of St. Pius X now no longer labors under the onerous Novus Ordo censure of “excommunication,” one which, however, they always considered null and void to begin with.
Some serious questions must now be asked: What difference does this removal of the “excommunications” now make – to Rome, and then to the SSPX? Is the SSPX now Novus Ordo? Is the SSPX now in “full communion” with Ratzinger?
It is probably impossible to answer of all these questions right now with certitude, especially as the New Church's novel ecclesiology (doctrine on the church) as well as the SSPX's own ideas about their union (or lack thereof) with Rome are both extremely vague, confusing, and contradictory. What can be said with certitude at this point, however, is that both the Vatican and the SSPX have a total mess on their hands.
Let me explain.
True and False Ecclesiologies: The SSPX must now decide
The current situation forces the SSPX to live up to its confused ecclesiology. Are they, or are they not, in union with Rome? Do they, or do they not, even want to be in union with Rome? Ah, but which Rome? Is it “Eternal Rome” or “Neo-Modernist Rome,” as decried by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre? Which dogmatic Catholic theology manual allows anyone to make such a distinction to begin with? No, this time the SSPX will have to stop the ecclesiological nonsense, which is reminiscent of the confused and heretical “partial communion” ecclesiology of Vatican II. The question will be quite black-and-white: Will you, or will you not, submit to Benedict XVI? The bizarre dances about just being in union with the Catholic part of Benedict's brain will have to stop. Affirming that Benedict XVI is a true Pope, as the SSPX has always done, has its consequences, after all, and these consequences the SSPX will now have to live up to.
At the same time, Rome has to answer the same question: Is the SSPX a part of the New Church? Is it in “full communion” or just “partial communion”? But if the communion is only partial, why are they then not partially excommunicated? Doesn't a decree of “ex-communication,” at least on the legal side of things, re-establish the very communion out of which (“ex-”) the cleric was put? Or could it be that the penalty of excommunication, a leftover from the True Church that the Vatican II Church has decided to retain, simply does not fit the new ecclesiology of partial vs. full communion?
To show what a difficult situation the SSPX now faces, let us go back in history a bit and examine what the SSPX has said in the past about its own excommunication and severance from Rome.
On June 17, 1988, the Vatican, knowing of the impending episcopal consecrations, sent an official “canonical warning” to Archbishop Lefebvre, signed by “Cardinal” Gantin, in which it threatened to excommunicate the bishops involved should they indeed proceed with the consecrations. Disregarding the warning, on June 30, Archbishop Lefebvre and Bp. De Castro Mayer went ahead with the consecrations as planned, and a day later, all six bishops involved were declared excommunicated by the Vatican.
On June 30, during the consecrations, Abp. Lefebvre gave a sermon in which he said: “There is no question of us separating ourselves from Rome.... Far from us be this miserable thought of separating ourselves from Rome! .... [W]e are convinced that all these accusations of which we are the object, all penalties of which we are the object, are null, absolutely null and void, and of which we take no account” (http://www.sspx.org/SSPX_FAQs/appendix_v_1988_consecration_sermon.htm).
On July 6, no fewer than 24 high-ranking SSPX priests, headed by Fr. Franz Schmidberger, then the Superior General of the Society, signed and sent an open letter to “Cardinal” Gantin in which they declared:
“...[W]e have never wished to belong to this system which calls itself the Conciliar Church, and defines itself with the Novus Ordo Missae, an ecumenism which leads to indifferentism and the laicization of all society. Yes, we have no part, nullam partem habemus, with the pantheon of the religions of Assisi; our own excommunication by a decree of Your Eminence or of another Roman Congregation would only be the irrefutable proof of this. We ask for nothing better than to be declared out of communion with this adulterous spirit which has been blowing in the Church for the last twenty-five years; we ask for nothing better than to be declared outside of this impious communion of the ungodly. We believe in the One God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, and we will always remain faithful to His unique Spouse, the One Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church.
To be publicly associated with this sanction which is inflicted upon the six Catholic Bishops, Defenders of the Faith in its integrity and wholeness, would be for us a mark of honor and a sign of orthodoxy before the faithful. They have indeed a strict right to know that the priests who serve them are not in communion with a counterfeit church, promoting evolution, pentecostalism and syncretism.” (http://qien.free.fr/1988+/19880706_excommunication_eng.htm)
The foregoing speaks for itself. The SSPX does—and then does not—belong to Rome. And then it does—and does not—even want to belong to Rome. In fact, in their minds, Rome itself is divided into Eternal Rome and Neo-Modernist Rome. With a completely novel ecclesiology, the SSPX somehow manages to hold that Rome both is and isn't Catholic; that it is a counterfeit church but still somehow the true Church; that the Pope is a Modernist Ecumaniac but at other times the Holy Father to whom they profess filial submission. In their minds, the Vatican itself has no power to declare who is and isn't in communion with the Catholic Church. It is perhaps ironic that Abp. Lefebvre detected two-sidedness in liberals but not in his own position: “The liberal Catholic is two-sided; he is in a state of continual contradiction” (Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics [Angelus Press, 1986], p. 149). In that sense, the SSPX has a lot in common with liberals and even with the novel “partial communion” ecclesiology of Vatican II.
Can anyone make sense of the SSPX's absurd position? Without intending in any way to judge the souls of those who profess this position, it must be pointed out quite forcefully that such a position is in no wise found in the traditional Catholic dogmatic manuals on ecclesiology, and therefore the SSPX can hardly claim to be handing on the traditional and true teaching of the Church in all its parts. The Catholic Church's traditional ecclesiology and the SSPX's ecclesiological novelties are simply irreconcilable. Bottom line: The SSPX's teaching on the Church is not traditional but novel and erroneous. The SSPX has modified Church teaching in order to make it fit the current situation. But this is surely an exercise in futility: changing the Church's teaching in order to keep Church teaching from being changed!
And what about the Vatican? The Vatican asserts that Benedict XVI, out of the sheer goodness of his oh-so-benevolent heart, having heard Bp. Bernard Fellay's alleged plea of unease about the excommunications—which Fellay himself has been insisting for 20 years was null and void—has decided to remove this most severe censure. The motive, so the Vatican claims, is to “intensify and grant stability” to the relationship between Rome and the SSPX and allow for greater confidence to flourish between the two quarreling parties, as a “sign to promote unity in the charity of the universal Church.”
Surely it will not be long before the first “clarification” will have to be issued by Rome, as the January 21 decree leaves, as usual, many questions open. In typical “Frankenchurch”-esque fashion, Rome, though having lifted the excommunications, still insists that the SSPX is not yet in “full communion” with Benedict XVI, and hopes that this will soon be accomplished, “thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.”
Before John XXIII and Vatican II, there was no such thing as “full communion” vs. “partial communion” with the Church; one was either in communion with the Church or not, much as a woman can only be either pregnant or not.
His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, taught quite clearly:
“Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. 'For in one spirit' says the Apostle, 'were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free.' As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered -- so the Lord commands -- as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.”
( Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, 1943, par. 22; http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12MYSTI.HTM)
No “partial communion” business here! The teaching of the Pope is clear, and is entirely consistent with what his predecessors taught, notably Pope Pius IX, who, convoking the First Vatican Council, sent an Apostolic Letter to Protestants and schismatics, begging them to return to the fold:
“Whoever thus gives proper attention and reflection to the situation which surrounds the various religious societies, divided amongst themselves and separated from the Catholic Church - which, without interruption, from the time of Christ the Lord and of His Apostles, by means of her legitimate sacred Shepherds, has always exercised, and exercises still, the divine power conferred upon Her by the Lord - it will be easy to convince [them] that in none of these societies, and not even in all of them taken together, can in some way be seen the one and Catholic Church which Christ the Lord built, constituted, and willed to exist. Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity. It follows that such societies, lacking that living authority established by God, which instructs men in the things of the faith and in the discipline of the customs, directing and governing them in all that concerns eternal salvation, they continuously mutate in their doctrines without that mobility and the instability they find one end. Everyone therefore can easily comprehend and fully reckon that this is absolutely in contrast with the Church instituted by Christ the Lord, in which the truth must always remain constant and never subject to change whatsoever, deposited as if it were into a warehouse, entrusted to be guarded perfectly whole.” (Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes, 1868; http://www.novusordowatch.org/iamvosomnes.htm)
What a remarkably different position from that of the Modernist Vatican today! Does anyone who buys into this “hermeneutic of continuity” nonsense honestly believe that what Pope Pius IX teaches here is essentially the same as that of Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI? Let's not be ridiculous.
Against this clear and reasonable Catholic teaching, Paul VI promulgated the following drivel at Vatican II:
“The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God. They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood.” (Vatican II, “Dogmatic Constitution” Lumen Gentium, 1964, par. 15; http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html)
Note the “precise” language! The Vatican II church says she is “linked” in “many ways” with those who are baptized but not Catholic. Furthermore, Protestants are said to be “joined” to the Vatican II church “in some real way” that is attributed to the “Holy Spirit”—amazing! No wonder this council was nothing but a source of confusion and error. In saner days, any student at the Pontifical College putting this kind of nonsense in an exam would have received a failing grade. How different are true Catholic councils, which clarify Church teaching rather than muddying it or introducing novelties. Immediately, Pope Pius VI comes to mind, who warned the faithful of the deceitful innovators of the 18th century, who sought to introduce new teachings and confuse the faithful:
"[The Ancient Doctors] knew the capacity of innovators in the art of deception. In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, they sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith which is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation. This manner of dissimulating and lying is vicious, regardless of the circumstances under which it is used. For very good reasons it can never be tolerated in a synod of which the principal glory consists above all in teaching the truth with clarity and excluding all danger of error.
"Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.
"It is as if the innovators pretended that they always intended to present the alternative passages, especially to those of simple faith who eventually come to know only some part of the conclusions of such discussions which are published in the common language for everyone's use. Or again, as if the same faithful had the ability on examining such documents to judge such matters for themselves without getting confused and avoiding all risk of error. It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor Saint Celestine who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity. Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.
"In order to expose such snares, something which becomes necessary with a certain frequency in every century, no other method is required than the following: Whenever it becomes necessary to expose statements which disguise some suspected error or danger under the veil of ambiguity, one must denounce the perverse meaning under which the error opposed to Catholic truth is camouflaged." (Pius VI, Apostolic Constitution “Auctorem Fidei,” 1794; http://www.novusordowatch.org/benedict/originalsin.htm)
What a stunning indictment of the false council and the false church! Could the difference between the True Church and the New Church be any clearer? Nothing here about a “hermeneutic of continuity,” folks!
The New Church's novel ecclesiology allows it to hold the position that the SSPX, though not excommunicated, is somehow in “partial communion” with the Church. Precisely what it would take for the SSPX to enter into “full communion” with Rome is not mentioned in the decree lifting the excommunications, but it will probably amount to signing some sort of agreement regarding Vatican II, the New Mass, and Benedict XVI.
Bp. Williamson's Statements on Swedish Television
The ecclesiological mess is just one of the problems both sides have to deal with now. The other problem is the SSPX's Bp. Richard Williamson.
Just before the lifting of the excommunications, Swedish television aired an interview with Bp. Williamson wherein he was asked about his thoughts regarding Nazi atrocities committed against Jews during World War II. Williamson explained that based on scientific and historical evidence he had seen, he was convinced that about 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died in concentration camps at the hands of the Nazis, but not one of them in a gas chamber. (See the video of the interview here: http://www.gloria.tv/?video=pwfajpm2dzdfsciqqjog)
The liberal press, of course, immediately interpreted this as “anti-Semitism,” and news has been making the rounds now that the “Pope” has received an “anti-Semite” into the “Church” who “denies the Holocaust.” In Germany, denying that six million Jews died in gas chambers during World War II is a crime punishable by imprisonment (towards abortionists who, collectively, might kill six million babies in the first trimester of gestation, German law is a bit more lenient), and so the public attorney of Regensburg (Ratisbonne) started an investigation to prosecute Bp. Williamson for “Holocaust denial” (the precise name of the crime over there is Volksverhetzung, “incitement of the people”).
All this, of course, leaves Benedict XVI with more than the proverbial eggs on his face—he's practically got a whole omelette to deal with right now. “Pope rehabilitates Holocaust Denier” — such were the headlines in newspapers and on internet sites. On January 28, the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel had severed ties with the Vatican until further notice. Is this perhaps something that Bp. Williamson intended? It's possible, but it seems unlikely. The interview was recorded in November of 2008 but not aired until shortly before the removal of the excommunications.
At first, the reaction of Bp. Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, was moderate. In a letter to Swedish television, dated January 21, 2009, Fellay said that Bp. Williamson was “personally responsible for his own private opinions,” and that “a bishop can only speak about questions of faith and morals with any ecclesiastical authority” (http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/images/fellayresponds.jpg). A few days later, as the damage done to the SSPX and Rome's relations with the Jews became more clear, Bp. Fellay and Fr. Franz Schmidberger, SSPX Superior of the German District, declared:
“The mission of the priestly society is the distribution and restoration of authentic Catholic teaching and how it is laid down in dogmas. For that we are well known worldwide, accepted and appreciated.
It’s with great sadness that we recognize the extent to which the violation of this mandate has done damage to our mission. The affirmations of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any sense the position of our Fraternity. For this reason I have prohibited him, pending any new orders, from taking any public positions on political or historical questions.
We ask the forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff, and of all people of good will, for the dramatic consequences of this act. Because we recognize how ill-advised these declarations were, we can only look with sadness at the way in which they have directly struck our Fraternity, discrediting its mission.
At the same time we must be clear that these remarks in no manner represent the views of our fraternity. Therefore I prohibit Bishop Williamson until further notice from speaking in public on political or historic questions.”
“As District Superior of the Society in Germany, I am very troubled by the words pronounced by Bishop Williamson here in this country.
The banalization of the genocide of the Jews by the Nazi regime and of its horror are unacceptable for us.
The persecution and murder of an incalculable number of Jews under the Third Reich touches us painfully and they also violate the Christian commandment of love for neighbor which does not distinguish ethnicities.
I must apologize for this behavior and dissociate myself from such a view.”
See the full text of the declarations here:
Bp. Williamson's statements—which he always prefaced by “I believe” as opposed to “It is fact...”—have become a PR disaster for the SSPX and Rome, but at this point it has only clouded the real issue between the SSPX and Rome concerning the Jews, and that is, the teachings of Vatican II about the Church and the Jewish religion, the Vatican's acceptance of the Old Covenant as a means of salvation for the Jews, and the continued bowing down of the Vatican before today's Jews as supposed “elder brothers in the Faith.”
A Grotesque Situation
Meanwhile, the Novus Ordo “bishop” of Regensburg, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, has banned Williamson from entering any of the churches or buildings of his diocese—as though Williamson actually cared to enter any of these—presumably in “punishment” for his statements.
Further, Matthias Kopp, spokesman for the German Conference of “Catholic” Bishops, appeared on German television to explain how Williamson was at odds with Catholic [i.e., Novus Ordo/Vatican II] teaching on the matter, but it was clear that Kopp was treating Williamson as though he were simply another “Novus Ordo” bishop, for whom he was now somehow obliged to answer.
What we see emerging here is an entirely grotesque situation: The New Church is now treating the SSPX bishops as “brother bishops” in the faith – their Vatican II faith, mind you! — as part of their church, their false counterfeit church, and of course, this is a picture that does not fit at all. The religion of the Vatican II Church and the religion of the SSPX are irreconcilable; they are two different religions, and it will be impossible for the New Church to integrate the SSPX as long as both the SSPX and the Novus Ordo Establishment remain unwavering in the profession of their respective beliefs.
Just picture Bp. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais (SSPX) next to “Cardinal” Walter Kasper, the Vatican's Chief Ecumenist, who denies the dogma of the Resurrection of Our Lord. Could anyone honestly say that these two men have the same religion? The idea is laughable. Not to mention the fact that Kasper, whose “episcopal consecration” occurred in the Novus Ordo rite in 1989, is not even a valid bishop (the same goes for his boss, Benedict XVI), whereas the SSPX bishops all are.
It is quite possible that Bp. Williamson's comments will serve to keep the entire SSPX from becoming Novus Ordo, as Bp. Fellay now so has to humble himself before Benedict XVI, the New Church, and the world's Zionists in order to show himself worthy of having been freed from the excommunication, and this may simply be too much for many in the SSPX to swallow.*
Quo Vadis, SSPX?
The SSPX believes itself to have the mission to “re-catholicize” the Holy See (an utter absurdity) and to “restore Tradition” in the “Church”—but how shall this be done from the outside? Bp. Fellay and Fr. Schmidberger may go very far to be accepted by Rome. How far, we shall see, but it is quite possible, perhaps likely, that the SSPX will break apart, and the wing of the SSPX that wants to keep “resisting” will stay with Bp. Williamson or whoever may not wish to rejoin Rome.
In the event that the SSPX should rejoin Rome whole and entire, it is clear that the SSPX will disintegrate. It will be caught up in the whirlwind of modernism, of vague and ambiguous ideas, of excuses and shenanigans, and their own stated goals of keeping and restoring Catholic Tradition will evaporate. Under an illusion of “restoring Tradition to the Church,” the SSPX will then simply become another indult/motu order whose practical irrelevance will only manifest itself in due time. The SSPX's fate will then be the same of the Society of St. John Vianney in Campos, Brazil, which rejoined Rome in 2002, a move which the SSPX then vigorously opposed and condemned.
In his letter to adherents of the SSPX dated January 24, 2009, Bp. Fellay wrote:
“Dear faithful, the Church is in the hands of her Mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. In Her we place our confidence. We have asked from her the freedom of the Mass of all time everywhere and for all. We have asked from her the withdrawal of the decree of excommunications. In our prayers, we now ask from her the necessary doctrinal clarifications which confused souls so much need." (http://www.dici.org/fraternite_read.php?id=000070)
This is absolutely frightening. Gone are the days when the SSPX was honored to have been declared excommunicated, as they wanted no union with the modernist church. The picture the bishop paints here is that of a Society headed to be fully embraced by the Modernist Vatican, pending some mere “clarifications” on doctrine. In a press release of the same day, Fellay says that he hopes to “obtain soon the recognition of the rights of Catholic Tradition.” Is that what it is about now? A simple “recognition” of the “rights” of “Tradition”? More vagueness, please! It looks like Fellay is indeed looking to have a traditional side altar in the modernist cathedral, an utter absurdity. If this is so, he has understood nothing of the nature of the Church and the Faith.
Be forewarned: The SSPX will soon be history, sunk in its own irrelevance as a part of the Novus Ordo Establishment. So, “be afraid, be very afraid!”
A Plea to All of Good Will
Let me make a plea to all people of good will at this point:
Abandon both the false church in Rome and the Society of St. Pius X.
The New Vatican is a false church, a counterfeit mocking the True Church, which has been eclipsed since 1958. Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, in his work The Church of Christ, makes this prediction: “The prophecies of the Apocalypse show that Satan will imitate the Church of Christ to deceive mankind; he will set up a church of Satan in opposition to the Church of Christ. Antichrist will assume the role of Messias; his prophet will act the part of Pope, and there will be imitations of the Sacraments of the Church. There will also be lying wonders in imitation of the miracles wrought in the Church” (Herder Book Co., 1927, p. 119; italics in original).
Dear Catholic of good will, can you not see it? What counterfeit church are you waiting for? Does the Vatican II Church not fit the bill? Under the guise of “updating” the Church, they have set up a new one, a different one, with a new theology, new sacraments, a new Rosary, a new Mass, a new papacy, a new evangelization, a new Pentecost, and a “new springtime.” It is a church that does not preach her own necessity for salvation. It is a church that humiliates Christ before those who reject Him (as Benedict XVI did in the Cologne Synagogue), that invites the pagan-demonic religions of the world in an effort to bring about “peace” (see Assisi 1986 and 2002), that seeks to declare its union with every heretic under the sun but will not tolerate the previous teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church of 1958 and before. This new church is false. It is not the Church of Christ, who must always remain faithful to her Spouse: “The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly” (St. Cyprian, as quoted by Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos, par. 10, 1928; http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11MORTA.HTM).
But the Society of St. Pius X does not acknowledge this. They falsely believe that the True Church can become corrupt and that the deposit of Faith must temporarily be held by them until Rome is ready to “convert” and the true teaching can once again be “restored” there. But a church that does not preach the true Faith and that pollutes the sacraments and sacred discipline is a false church altogether, and no amount of “negotiations” or “discussions” or “clarifications” can make a false church into the True Church.
The truth is that Benedict XVI is not the Pope of the Catholic Church. The church he leads is not the Catholic Church. If you wish to be truly Catholic, reject the false church whole and entire. Have nothing to do with it. Join the sedevacantists, who will be the last true resistance against the New Church. The sedevacantists have retained the true faith whole and entire; they have not “adjusted” Church teachings to justify their resistance to the new religion of Vatican II or the evil disciplines emanating from modernist Rome. Sedevacantists would be offended to have Benedict XVI declare them in union with his false church!
The seriousness of the situation calls for a serious decision: Are you, or are you not, in communion with Benedict XVI? Sedevacantists are crystal clear: We are not! Far be it from us to declare ourselves to have anything to do with the wicked works of the new religion! We have no part whatsoever in the Vatican II Church! We are not in communion with the Roman modernists, not fully and not partially, and we beg for nothing more than to be declared out of communion with them!
The SSPX, however, still thinks that somehow it will be able to make Modernist Rome into Catholic Rome again. This will not happen because it cannot happen. Instead, Rome will make the SSPX Novus Ordo.
Many more issues could still be raised. For example, what will happen now to the marriage “annulments” and marriage tribunals unlawfully erected by the SSPX? Will Rome recognize them? Will the SSPX recognize Rome's? What will happen to the properties hitherto owned by the SSPX? Will the modernists try to gain control over them? No answer shall be attempted here, but it is an interesting question to ponder.
Come to think of it, perhaps Rome should be congratulated. After all, they now have four more valid bishops in their fold.
PS: A final communiqué to Mr. Ferrara: The True Restoration of the Church will look different. It won't have a Pope apologizing to Zionists, and it won't require a lawyer from New Jersey to point it out.
* NOW Update: After Gregorius supplied us with this article, Bp. Williamson followed up the Bp. Fellay/Fr. Schmidberger apology by posting one of his own on his blogsite, "Dinoscopus." (http://dinoscopus.blogspot.com/2009/01/letter.html) This "apology" was in the form of a brief letter sent to "Cardinal" Castrillón Hoyos, in which Williamson expressed his "sincere regrets" to Hoyos and "the Holy Father" for the "media storm" following his "imprudent remarks." It is significant that at no time does he actually apologize for having said anything wrong, but merely expresses regret for the headache his comments caused Modernist Rome. Likewise, he neither repudiates his controversial views nor attempts to mitigate or explain them. Considering this, given the level of outrage Williamson's generated, it would not surprise us in the least if he is strongly urged by the Vatican to take classes in Jewish Studies before he's permitted to be fully integrated into the counterfeit church. Should he refuse, as we presume he'd do, there could be serious repercussions for the SSPX, meaning Bp. Fellay could order him to take the classes. This is a situation that bears watching over the weeks and months to come.