Is Pope Francis About To Recognise the SSPX?

Bishop de Galarreta gave a conference in Bailly, near Versailles, on January 17, 2016. He exposed the present situation in the Church and informed his audience of the present state of the relations between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X. He directed the Society of St. Pius X’s commission of theologians during the doctrinal discussions with Rome from 2009 to 2011. Here are the most important extracts from his conference, transcribed by DICI.

Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta

Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta

The crisis of the Faith worsens and arouses public reactions

In the first part of his conference, Bishop de Galarreta explained that “a will to draw all of the consequences contained in the principles of Vatican Council II” is developing in Rome. Now that the conciliar ideas of ecumenism, religious liberty and collegiality are established, according to the Roman authorities, it is morality’s turn to be infected with a form of evolutionism: “It is already the case with dogma and with the truth (according to the progressivists); it is already the case with ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality, the whole liberal revolutionary spirit… so why not morality, too? In the end, it was incoherent not to apply evolution to morality, too;” it, too, is called to adapt to “man’s life, habits, laws, and the evolution of things…”

Nonetheless, the Argentinian prelate recognized that in the face of this disaster, there is a reaction: “Now we are starting to see reactions in the actual, official Church. And deep reactions, for some do realize that there is a doctrinal problem, a problem of faith. They realize that there is also a problem in the conciliar and post-conciliar magisterium. They are starting to ask questions and, this is very important, they understand that to oppose this complete rupture with Tradition, they have to react and necessarily oppose the authorities who diffuse these errors. So we see cardinals, bishops, priests and laymen beginning to react, and in the right way, even in an excellent way, sometimes very firmly.”

A double proposal from Rome: Doctrinal and canonical

Bishop de Galarreta then related that in the summer of 2015 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith proposed a personal prelature along with a doctrinal declaration. And he explained that the “Superior General sent both Roman texts to all the major superiors and to some theologians of the Society, as well as to the bishops, so they could analyze them and give him our opinion.”

About the doctrinal declaration, the Argentinian bishop admitted: “What we see in the doctrinal declaration is that there is no longer Cardinal Ratzinger’s profession of faith. The Roman authorities ask us to make Pius IV’s profession of faith, that is, the profession of faith of the Council of Trent. Also, in the previous profession, there was a paragraph on religious liberty. They have suppressed this requirement. Ecumenism has been removed. On the Mass they had asked us to recognize the validity and the legitimacy. Now they ask us to recognize the validity of the new sacraments and the new Mass according to the typical edition, the original Latin edition. The Society has always recognized this. You see, they are taking away their conditions in an effort to succeed.”

Then Bishop de Galarreta explained that the Superior General thought it important to answer the Roman offer to recognize the Society “as it is” with a preliminary answer that was anything but vague: “Bishop Fellay told us, ‘before answering this proposal from the Congregation of the Faith, I am going to write them an exhaustive explanation to make it very clear how we are and how we act, what we preach, what we do, what we do not do, and what we are not ready to do’,” – in order to find out if the Society really is accepted “as it is”.

The Argentinian prelate then voiced his reservations for a profound doctrinal reason: “They still wish above all to make us accept, if only vaguely, if only in principle, Vatican Council II and its errors.” And he added that this Roman desire can be seen on the practical level in the canonical proposal: “There is always, in one way or another, a submission to the Roman dicasteries or to the bishops.” Which leads him to declare that personally, he would refuse the Roman proposals: “For me, an agreement with today’s Rome is out of the question.” He added that this is a prudential refusal, dictated by the circumstances – in the absence of the necessary warrantees for the life of the Society – and he was careful to distinguish himself from those who make this refusal an absolute.

“We do not refuse, you see, in an absolute and theoretical way the possibility of an agreement with Rome. That is what distinguishes us from the ‘Resistance’. For them it is a principle. It is a doctrinal question: ‘You cannot admit the possibility of an agreement with Rome without being liberal.’ Such is not our position. It is important to repeat it: it was not Archbishop Lefebvre’s position. He signed a protocol for an agreement with Rome. And at that time, even when he broke it off after the protocol, the Archbishop said: ‘it is because the necessary conditions for our protection, for our survival, are not there.’ Because they wish to deceive us, because they do not wish to give us Tradition, because they wish to bring us over to Vatican II. It is because the conditions are not there. He said, ‘If they had granted me the conditions, the conditions I had requested, I would have signed.’ Archbishop Lefebvre said that after the consecration of the bishops. And he explained, ‘If I signed a protocol for an agreement, it was because there was nothing against the faith.’ Neither in the contents, nor in the act of signing. This is obvious. So we continue along these lines.”

Towards a unilateral recognition of the Society?

In the second part of his conference, and beyond the proposals of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Bishop de Galarreta publicly confided that he thinks the pope may soon confer a status on the Society of St. Pius X:

“I think, and this is the other aspect of things, that this pope who tells anyone who will listen that we are Catholic, who says and repeats that the Society is Catholic, that we are Catholic, will never condemn us, and that he wants our ‘case’ taken care of. I think– and he has already started down this path – that when he sees that we cannot agree with the Congregation of the Faith, I think that he will overreach any doctrinal, theoretical, practical condition, or any condition whatsoever… He is going to take his own steps towards recognizing the Society. He has already begun; he is simply going to continue. And I am not saying what I desire but what I foresee. I foresee, I think that the pope will lean towards a one-sided recognition of the Society, and that by acts rather than by a legal or canonical approach.”

Bishop de Galarreta admitted that “this de facto recognition would have a good, a beneficial effect: it is a rather extraordinary apostolic opening, and it would have an extraordinary effect.” But he adds that there would then be two risks: that of creating an internal division and that of conditioning our preaching in certain circumstances. And he wondered: “It would take an extraordinary wisdom and prudence, a very great firmness and clarity. Are we capable of this?”

The Argentinian prelate answered by asking his audience to keep a supernatural confidence in the face of these eventualities: “If that is what Providence sends us, then we will have the necessary graces to overcome the difficulties and deal with them as we should, but of course, only to the extent that it is not produced by our will but imposed upon us. If our ideas are clear, we can always take advantage of it and draw the good from it. But in this hypothetical case, – I am giving you my opinion based on conjectures, right? – in this case I think we will have the necessary graces to persevere and do the good we must do in our Holy Mother the Church. God will never deny us or stop giving us the means to persevere in the faith and in the good fight, if we always remain in the faith, in hope, in charity, in the strong confession of the faith, in our daily sanctification.”

Fear of risks and trust in Divine Providence

And he concluded after raising an objection: “So you are going to tell me: ‘In these cases there is a risk!’ – Yes, of course. In life there are many risks; in war there are even more. We are at war. So it will be as God wishes. But I have trust in Providence; I have complete trust in the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ for His Holy Church. So as long as we do not seek it, even if it happens, I think we must not panic. Nothing changes. It is the same fight that goes on, the same lines. We must simply take advantage of these areas of freedom that are left to us. In a war, if the enemy abandons the trenches, we have to take them over; if the enemy falls back, we must go forward. You don’t stay home because there are risks. We must act prudently, and we must take courage. And above all, we must have trust in God. It is the fight for God. Our trust is in Him and in the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“Personally I am not at all worried about the future of the Society or Tradition; however, for the future of society, of our nations that were once Catholic and even of the official Church, yes, I am worried and pessimistic. We can foresee that things are evolving for the worst. And it is when we are coming to a much more desperate, extreme situation that Divine Providence intervenes; God, who always uses divine means, intervenes. Our Lord is always the master of events and of history. And not only in general, but also in particular. So if the Gospel tells us that not one hair of our head falls, that all the hairs on our head are counted, that not a sparrow falls without the permission of God, I think we must remain peaceful. That is how we maintain an equitable judgment on objective realities and preserve an attitude that is not only balanced, but also Catholic, Christian and holy. That is the wisdom Archbishop Lefebvre passed on to us, this Catholic attitude. We can certainly continue along these lines in the present situation of the Hoy Church today, and in the face of all the eventualities that will soon present themselves.” (Source)

CP&S COMMENT:  How is it, that Pope Francis, the most modernist of all popes, has made this step in the direction of formal recognition of the SSPX? Could this move, by the grace of God, be the turning of the tide of their separation from the “official” Church?

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14 Responses to Is Pope Francis About To Recognise the SSPX?

  1. “Is Pope Francis About To Recognise the SSPX?”
    No.

  2. johnhenrycn says:

    I very much hope Pope Francis will recognise SSPX as a personal prelature without conditions, but until that happens, I will not set foot in their nearby chapel.

  3. Anil Wang says:

    The SSPX Argentinian prelate said “They still wish above all to make us accept, if only vaguely, if only in principle, Vatican Council II and its errors….There is always, in one way or another, a submission to the Roman dicasteries or to the bishops….For me, an agreement with today’s Rome is out of the question.”

    This is precisely why I doubt reunion will be possible any time soon. Even if the Pope offered to take them in as is (which he hasn’t), there would still be submission to a bishop or Roman dicastery or the Pope himself. That’s an essential part of the Catholic Faith. We’re not Baptists. And if there’s fear of “today’s Rome”, there’s always a chance that someone like Cardinal Tagle (or even Cardinal Kasper with special permission from Pope Francis) becomes the next Pope. There are no guarantees that Pope Francis doesn’t go full Montanist and issue an infallible declaration that he is the incarnation of the Holy Spirt….unless you truly believe in Matthew 16:18 and Vatican I.

    This is the one thing that brings all new potential converts pause. To become Catholic, one must believe not only in all doctrines that we know about, we must believe all doctrines that we don’t yet know about and all future doctrines that are defined as such in our lifetimes. That’s quite a commitment and it’s one that I don’t see the SSPX ever making, especially after seeing Pope Francis. But I’d love to be proven wrong. Lord knows we need more orthdox voices in the Church.

    IMO, what may happen instead is that once the Pope sees that the SSPX rejects that generous offer which appears to be the minimum you’d expect a bishop or priest to accept (despite the current Pope), he may well take care of the SSPX unitaterally, but in the opposite way the SSPX expects.

  4. To the SSPX-dont trust the conciliar church!

  5. Anil Wang says:

    Philip Johnson says: To the SSPX-dont trust the conciliar church!

    If by conciliar church, you mean the heresy of Conciliarism, then no such Catholic Church exists to distrust, unless you mean the Eastern Orthodox.

    If by conciliar church, you mean the “Catholic” Church of the 20 Ecumenical Councils, then feel free to distrust the Polish National Church or any of the other Vatican I breakaways.

    If by conciliar church, you mean the “Catholic” Church of the 1 Ecumenical Council called Vatican II which rebooted the Church so nothing else matters, then no such Church exists except in the minds of Cardinal Kasper and his “Spirit of Vatican II” ilk or Sedevacantists who believe heretics that show themselves after a council prove that the council is invalid. If that were true, then the Council of Nicaea must be invalid since it exposed so many heretics.

    If, OTOH, you mean the Catholic Church of the 21 Ecumenical Councils, then I’m sorry. That’s the only Catholic Church that exists. To deny any Ecumenical Council is to place oneself in the company of countless heretics that went into schism and I’m certain that if the Church did not go off the rails after Vatican II, the members of the SSPX would never have separated themselves from the Catholic Church. But this isn’t the first time the Church has gotten off the rails nor will it be the last. God always calls the Church back, but until that time we are required to stay within the Church and help rebuild and restore. even if it comes with great personal cost. That’s what separates a saint like St John of the Cross from a heretic like Martin Luther.

  6. johnhenrycn says:

    Excellent, well thought-out and well written comments by Anil Wang.
    (Remind me not to get on her bad side)

  7. johnhenrycn says:

    …but maybe I already have since *Anil* is one of those names that are gender neutral. But again, those were great comments.

  8. Anil Wang.I get your point!I should have qualified my statement by saying-Dont trust the falsities of the second vatican council.It doesn’t deserve my putting capital letters on it!2nd vatican council i mean.

  9. ginnyfree says:

    It’s not going to happen. Bet ya three whole days in the Bahamas next January on it.

  10. johnhenrycn says:

    “Bet ya three whole days in the Bahamas next January on it.”

    Separate cabins? Are you booked for the Church Militant “Retreat at Sea” that departs April 2nd?

  11. ginnyfree says:

    No, but I wish I was.

  12. kathleen says:

    This is such a bombshell… but I cannot decide whether I think it would be a good thing (for the SSPX) or not. There are diverse opinions weighing up the pros and cons that all appear to have plenty of solid reasons for their positions.

    In 2012, nearly four years ago now, we printed many articles about the possibility of this recognition taking place under the approach of Pope Benedict XVI towards the SSPX (not the other way round, which was significant) who saw the great benefits the Church would reap from the solid Catholic piety and traditions this group would bring back into the Body of Christ. Benedict saw how the SSPX priests and followers would help so greatly in combatting the widespread damage and confusion liberals and modernists had wrought.
    I was wildly enthusiastic at the time; it really looked as though the obstacles dividing us would be overcome.

    However, it was not to be, much to the bitter disappointment of all orthodox Catholics.
    This time round I am not so sure whether such a thing could even be possible at this moment, much as I would love it to happen for the good of the universal Church.

  13. ssoldie36 says:

    The Phrase “Conciliar Church” is Rome’s Own Self-Description

    Regardless of the authenticity of the quotes, Voris makes much over the term “Conciliar Church.” However, it is not the Society’s term, it is Rome’s own term. In a 25 June 1976 letter, Mgr. Giovanni Benelli, the substitute Secretary of State, wrote the following to Mgr. Lefebvre (emphasis added):

    The Holy Father charges me this very day to confirm the measure of which you have been informed in his name, de mandata speciali: you are to abstain, now, from conferring any order. Do not use as a pretext the confused state of the seminarians who were to be ordained: this is just the opportunity to explain to them and to their families that you cannot ordain them to the service of the Church against the will of the supreme Pastor of the Church. There is nothing desperate in their case: if they have good will and are seriously prepared for a presbyteral ministry in genuine fidelity to the Conciliar Church.

    On 12 July 1976 Archbishop Lefebvre responded to this novel concept of a “Conciliar Church”:

    It thus appears impossible to approach the basic problem, which the agreement of the Conciliar Church, as H. E. Mgr. Benelli himself calls it in his last letter, and the Catholic Church.

    Let there be no mistake. It is not a question of a difference between. Mgr. Lefebvre and Pope Paul VI. It is a question of the radical incompatibility between the Catholic Church and the Conciliar Church, the Mass of Paul VI being the symbol and the program of the Conciliar Church.

  14. kathleen says:

    ssoldie36,

    Thank you for your most insightful words.
    What indeed is the meaning of calling the Catholic Church the Conciliar Church if not to emphasise innovations and changes they cunningly brought in at V2 that require the seeking of a new name for Her?

    God bless the SSPX who with much suffering have kept our Holy Faith uncontaminated from the errors of Modernism.

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