Dear SSPX: Shut Up & Pray

It is no secret that I am sympathetic to many of the issues that the SSPX hold dear and I was very desirous of their recognition last year and I was disappointed when the deal fell through.

It is also no secret that I am not a big fan of the Pope's extemporaneous remarks. But for all that, the reality is the Pope has not actually done anything or changed anything. The Catholic Church from last year is the same Catholic Church this year, for good or for bad. Media swooning aside, nothing has changed, at least not yet.

So it is that the recent remarks of the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bp. Bernard Fellay, are unhinged, unhelpful, and unrealistic.

My advice, at the National Catholic Register is "Shut Up and Pray"

*subhead*Not helping*subhead*


  1. Oh, that's nice. Once again a know-it-all blogger... and oh, I almost forgot... a Catholic media contributor... tells a traditional Catholic to "shut up".

    Well, its been all but five minutes since we've heard that. What's your next trick?

  2. I think that, from the point of view of the Church's mission, is the SSPX correct in its assessment?

    Looking at what Pope Francis has done to the Franciscans, what would have happened to the SSPX if Pope Benedict had not required a compromise?

    Then switching to the personal responsibilities of the Vicar of Christ, as found in the other Vatican Council (ch 4, article 6): Is the Pope fulfilling his role in the Church?

    Or ...
    Is he just making a mess?

  3. The SSPX pray for the Pope more than most I believe. They're just in a better position right now to tell it like it is (with clarity) instead of having to try to justify the poor choice of words coming from the Vatican.

  4. On the other hand, as much as I sympathize with the SSPX complaints, what Fellay is doing is grandstanding. He's doing it to curry favor with SSPX hardliners who are suspicious of him after last year's negotiations with Rome.

    For that reason, I agree with Pat. Bp. Fellay should be quiet. He;s not helping anyone. And I'm a famously misanthropic traditionalist and generally disagreeable person.


    In October
    Finally spoke,
    Snubbed brown-nosers
    Have awoke.

    Must impress
    Wanting to
    Be part of “mess”,

    Wanting to be seen
    As loyal
    Thirty pieces
    Is their spoil.

    Watching Truth
    Be crucified –
    If they’ve got theirs…
    Then satisfied.

  6. I doubt the SSPX can not be satisfied; they are more hostile and regular detractors of the Pope than many Protestants. Or I should say than many "other" Protestants. I find it beyond ironic that yesterdays gospel reading was Christ telling the Pharisees they'd be better off minding the inside of the cup. How perfectly on point. Any sympathy I had has been long spent by their dearth of charity and humility. Sure disagree with the Pope, but show some respect.

  7. Oops that should read: "I doubt the SSPX can be satisfied;"

  8. Oh come on. Bishop Fellay was speaking to the annual SSPX conference in Kansas City, where people have driven long distances and paid dearly for lodgings (they compete every year with a NASCAR event), and they expect a little rhetorical drama for their trouble. It happens every year. And is Fellay wrong? Is not Francis kicking the skids out ofrom under any civic struggle against abortion and homosexual marriage? And aren't these two practices, which contribute to our broader fertility collapse and consequent economic collapse, rather important to us at the moment? Francis is doing the opposite of helping, and Fellay just said so, along with many other analysts, even strictly financial ones like Christopher Caldwell, an atheist who nevertheless wishes the Church would just lead on these issues, as on immigration, which is crushing Europe. But the usual tone of SSPX is more like the gentle analysis released just, what, last week? And of that, everyone was saying it pulled its punches, it was lame, SSPX had gone over, etc. etc. Let's just keep our eye on content and not style: Francis *is* making things worse, he should please stop.

  9. Yes, as I've commented many times here, Francis is hurting the Church and should stop. And, since the SSPX is constantly embarrassing itself in such a variety of creative ways, for them to pile on does not help the cause. Francis is casting hi detractors as pelagian nutjobs. We don't need actual pelagian nutjobs proving him right.

  10. It's not enough to be right in an argument, how you argue matters as well. Form and substance both must be correct.

  11. As Pope Benedict once said, and I'm paraphrasing, the one group it is totally permissible to hate in this world is the SSPX. They are the Darth Vader we all love to bash as psychos. And it's just so obviously un-Christian.

  12. ...shall we talk about the various ways they do act like psychos? The fact that asking the question "...and is that priest SSPX?" devolves into a mouth-foaming debate about who is and who is not SSPX (and who has been expelled, and who is not true to the resistance, and who is a crypto-modernist) tells one a lot about the level of crazy we're talking about.

    Fact is, that organization lures people into fake sacraments, marrying and absolving them without faculties. That's a Darth Vader move, chief.

  13. No, champ, their sacraments are illicit, but not invalid. But look my point wasn't to engage in more name calling which this papacy seems to be encouraging en masse. They remain Christians, and we are bound to treat them with respect and love, kind of like we do protestants for example, even though their separation from Rome is far greater.

  14. JB - Wrong.

    Can. 966 §1 For the valid absolution of sins, it is required that, in addition to the power of order, the minister has the faculty to exercise that power in respect of the faithful to whom he gives absolution.

    I don't normally quote Fr. Z, but in this case, I just have to:

    ""But in normal circumstances, if a priest does not have the faculty to receive sacramental confessions, for whatever reason, the absolution is invalid.""

    Now, you want to back up, and re type that last post in light of actual Church Law?

  15. No I don't smart guy. First, the canon you cite does not support your claim that they are "fake sacraments." That's really offensive, apart from being wrong. Second, Fr Z is addressing "normal circumstances" which, manifestly, the SSPX do not fit within.

    Read up on this when you get a chance and drop the name calling.

  16. Are you on drugs? Your own link says:

    "Consequently, if a Catholic marries in a ceremony conducted by an SSPX priest, the marriage is invalid, for lack of canonical form. The SSPX priest is presumably a validly ordained cleric; but for the validity of a Catholic marriage, ordination is not sufficient."


    "The fact is, Ecclesia supplet does not validate any marriages celebrated by SSPX clergy, period. "


    " Since they have no faculties to hear confessions, SSPX clergy cannot validly absolve penitents in the confessional."

    ...and only says "Maybe" about Can 144 applying to SSPX absolutions, which the Pope disagreed with! Good luck, JB, you're way, way out on limb here.

  17. Settle down Harry. Re-read your own posts. You claimed, totally inaccurately, that all sacraments administered by SSPX are "fake sacraments." All. I presume you know the difference between 5 and 2. So instead of digging the hole you're in deeper, just stop digging.

    And the point of this thread originally was to stop demonizing the SSPX when we treat protestants, muslims, and, clearly, modernists, better than we do the people who went with Archbishop Lefebvre.

  18. I said:

    "Fact is, that organization lures people into fake sacraments, marrying and absolving them without faculties. "

    Marrying and absolving. 2.
    Quit lying about it. Same internet sh*t, different internet day.

  19. BTW, JB, giving me that much grief without even reading my post to know what I said, when I was right the entire time, that's a real dick move. You need your internet card revoked.

  20. Your comment was hardly clear (you use a colon when you want to limit what you called "fake sacraments", not a comma) and your impugning of their motives, i.e., "luring" them into fake sacraments, was equally uncharitable, which was the point of how offensive it is to tell people of good faith to "shut up". But you now must concede that 5 of their sacraments are not, in fact, fake, a point which everyone not as schooled in SSPX matters and is reading this exchange now knows beyond any doubt.

    You deserved every bit of the grief, especially given your asinine reference to me as "chief". Revoke your own card for a while pal.

  21. Derp. My comment wasn't clear. Even though I said "Marrying" and "Absolving". Everyone who isn't clear on what sacraments I'm referring to, raise your hand. Looks like it's just you, pal. You fail, and you fail hard, at internet.

    And yes, they do lure. Go and meet a *real actual* SPPX priest and ask him if he can validly absolve you, or if he can marry you. Tell us all what he says. If he says "Sorry, no." then I'll eat my shoe. But he won't. He'll try to lure you into an invalid sacrament.

    So go ahead, sport, tell me again about "people of good faith"and how they cause Catholics to partake in invalid sacraments. You're so awesomely open-minded, your brain may just fall out.

    Have an awesome day!

  22. The SSPX is doing the Lord's work. He is the Pope, however there is this thing called the Word of God which is the Bible, and the Traditions of the Faith. If you respect the Pope, you must respect the Bible and the Traditions.

  23. Harry, you really need to take a qualude. There are plenty of true experts, including a Jesuit no less, who contend that SSPX confessions are valid (as noted below). Your monomania about this subject is troubling.

    "To answer this objection [that of Mr. Seldon], it is useful to consider opinions of knowledgeable persons not affiliated with the SSPX. Fr. Joseph J. Farraher was one such person. Fr. Farraher was a Jesuit, a canon lawyer, a moral theologian, a holder of a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from Gregorian University in Rome, and a former president of Alma College. In the October 1983 issue of the "Homiletic & Pastoral Review”, Fr. Joseph J. Farraher, SJ, wrote the following:

    As for Archbishop Lefebvre's priests, see my answer in the Aug.- Sept.1982 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review where I stated that, although his priests are illicitly ordained, they are validly ordained and have the radical power to absolve sacramentally. And, although ordinarily priests require "faculties" or jurisdiction to absolve validly and the Archbishop's priests do not have valid faculties, nevertheless when they enter a confessional in what appears to be a Catholic church, the supreme authority of the Church in Canon Law supplies jurisdiction to them just so that the faithful who approach them in good faith for Confession will not suffer lack of valid absolution.

    In the February 1985 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Fr. Farraher again spoke to the question of confessing to Society priests: “The Masses said, the absolution given, and the marriages witnessed by them are all most probably valid, the latter two categories at least by ‘common error’.”

  24. Meanwhile, the Roman diocese refuses a funeral mass to a Nazi war criminal, even a private mass, and here's the kicker - according to his priest he died repenting of his (many) sins. Where does he receive a Christian burial? From SSPX. You know I love you Patrick, but on this one...I'm just not in your court. The time for plain talk is before further damage is done, not after.

  25. "Shut up and pray" Really? If Nancy Pelosi said that you can be sure this blog would come down on her like a tonne of bricks, and rightly so.

  26. I don't have a horse in this race, but Harry and JB please both exercise a little christian charity and just be nice. I am the father of 10 kids(nine boys) I know how kids can fight and both of you need to be taken behind the woodshed and taught to treat others with charity, because right now my three year old looks mighty nice compared to you too. I know there are differences between the SSPX and Rome, maybe we should all just "Shut up and Pray" until we can say something nice about each other. Thanks

  27. "the pope [sic] has not actually done or changed anything"

    New "Mass", new sacraments, "if people are gay, who am I to judge?"

    Would recommend you look again at the substantial changes which have been brought about


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