Communiqué from SSPX District Superior of France

Nov. 2, 2016
On reading the joint declaration which the Pope made with the representatives of the Lutheran church in Sweden on 31st October, on the occasion of the fifth centenary of Luther’s revolt against the Catholic Church, our sadness has reached new depths.

Faced with the genuine scandal represented by such a declaration in which historical errors, grave attacks on the preaching of the Catholic Faith and a false humanism, source of so many evils, follow one after the other, we cannot remain silent.

Under the fallacious pretext of love of neighbour and the desire for an artificial and illusory unity, the Catholic Faith is sacrificed on the altar of that ecumenism which puts the salvation of souls in peril. The most enormous errors and the Truth of Our Lord Jesus Christ are put on an equal footing.

How can we be “profoundly thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation”, when Luther manifested a diabolical hatred towards the Sovereign Pontiff, a blasphemous scorn for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as well as a refusal of the saving Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ? He also destroyed the doctrine on the Eucharist by refusing Transubstantiation, turned souls away from the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and denied the existence of Purgatory.

No, Protestantism brought nothing to Catholicism! It ruined the unity of Christendom, separated whole countries from the Catholic Church, plunged souls into error, putting their eternal salvation in peril. We Catholics want Protestants to return to the unique fold of Christ which is the Catholic Church and we pray for this intention.

In these days when we celebrate all the Saints, we call out to Saint Pius V, Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Ignatius and Saint Peter Canisius who heroically fought the Protestant heresy and saved the Catholic Church.

We invite the faithful of the District of France to pray and do penance for the Sovereign Pontiff so that Our Lord, whose Vicar he is, may preserve him from error and keep him in the Truth of which he is the guardian.

I invite the priests of the District to celebrate a Mass of reparation and to organise a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament to ask pardon for these scandals and to beg Our Lord to calm the tempest which has been shaking the Church for more than half a century now.

Our Lady Help of Christians, save the Catholic Church and pray for us!

Father Christian Bouchacourt
District Superior of France for the Society of Saint Pius X

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52 Responses to Communiqué from SSPX District Superior of France

  1. John says:

    The usual complaints from ill-informed objectors who would prefer the Pope to issue condemnations rather than to dialogue with fellow Christians.


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  3. johnhenrycn says:

    The usual drivel from Mr Kehoe who prefers dialogue to conversion, as does his favourite Bishop of


  4. GC says:

    Mr Kehoe, I’m with you on the dialogue bit.

    I cherish the good old ecumenism in which “your ecumenical people got together with our ecumenical people and they all had a wonderful time. And the samwidges were excellent!”


  5. John says:


    Mine is ‘drivel’ but yours is always high-class discourse ? I suppose the dialogue from Pope Francis is also ‘drivel’ ? Doesn’t say much about a site ostensibly supporting the Pope as Vicar of Christ and posting these anti Papal attacks.
    You, the scholar, know better than the Pope?

    [Moderator: Keep your hat on Mr Kehoe! The articles we post are in defense of our Catholic heritage, and informing our readers of the current contrary goings-on coming from Papal quarters.]


  6. Toad says:

    “And the samwidges were excellent!”
    ..far tastier than the sour grapes, to which we are all accustomed.


  7. The Raven says:

    When I last looked, John, “dialogue” was a noun, not a verb.

    I am puzzled to know what the purpose of such a dialogue with Lutheranism can have: the Lutherans clearly do not want union with the Church (otherwise they wouldn’t still be Lutherans), we don’t want to start following their heresiarch.

    The document on justification that people keep waving around looks to me to be similar to the one cooked up by ARCIC – statements that look relatively in accord with orthodox teaching, but which are rejected by the majority of Anglicans.

    In short, the protestants are no closer to renouncing their errors and we are not likely to overturn the judgment of the centuries to allow us to accept their errors.

    Unless we are engaged in a process to seek their conversion to the truth, we really have little need to put much store in our talks with them.


  8. John says:

    The Raven @ 17.53. Yes dialogue is a noun, I am aware of that, but in common usage,not for pedants of course, it is shorthand for having a conversation with someone.

    Each side agreed to having that dialogue. Would it have been better that each pronounced anathemas against the other ? That seems to be what is called for on this blog.

    Is it right that carping critics should continually engage in finding fault with the Pope in the matter of what he says and in what he in his wisdom, as Vicar of Christ, chooses to do ?


  9. johnhenrycn says:

    “When I last looked, John, “dialogue” was a noun, not a verb.”
    Mind you, that’s the least of the sins committed by John Kehoe, LL. M., London School of Economics ( Pass, May, 2014) against the Queen’s English. I won’t be surprised to hear him talk someday of “growing the economy”, except his speciality was Human Rights, a non-subject like Women’s Studies, not Economics.


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    I am unkind to the Hibernian, and I’m sorry for that (sort of); but his concept – and good Pope Francis’s concept – of religion is best exemplified by the 4th movement of Beethoven’s obviously pantheistic 9th, which is probably why (pantheism) it was chosen as the European Anthem some years back. Here’s a stupendously moving and powerful version of it which I’ve just sent to my Shinto daughter-in-law, featuring a 10,000 strong Japanese orchestra and choir:


  11. johnhenrycn says:

    Yes – I’ve got Shintos, Lutherans, Anglicans and Gnostics closely related to me by blood and marriage, and I love them and they love me; but my job, as a Catholic, is not to celebrate their beliefs, but rather to articulate to the best of my ability what Catholicism is. I never get any pushback from them when I do so, which is unsurprising because every last one of them (one exception – my wife) is a cultural but not a doctrinaire believer in whatever they espouse. Whatever, in other words, is what they believe, and if Hibernians and Argentines think that’s a good state of affairs, I must beg to contradict them.


  12. johnhenrycn says:

    A travelling companion of mine – a Jew – was very pleased when I took him Mass this past spring. He has promised to return the favour by taking me to his Conservative (not Orthodox, which he says I would not be welcome in) synagogue next year, and has given me a yarmulke for that excursion. If ecumenicism has any validity, which I believe it does, it is anthropoligical, not theological, as my friendship with him attests.


  13. johnhenrycn says:

    John Kehoe (15:56) asks: “Mine is ‘drivel’ but yours is always high-class discourse ?

    Actually, sir, I’ve been censored on this site more than once – so no – I’m not always high-class, and I sometimes descend into drivel too.


  14. The Raven says:

    No, John, common usage does not transmogrify “dialogue” into a verb, it’s only a very special class of people who use the word in that way.

    And yes, it is better for each side to pronounce anathemas against each other than to pretend to a false consensus.

    Better to call a man a liar than to pretend to agree with him. Or have they repealed the prohibition against bearing false witness in your neck of the woods?


  15. John says:

    Well that’s one admission.Thank you.
    Now how about stating your academic qualifications to match, or better, some of the ones which I have and which you unnecessarily raised and derided ? I never mentioned what I had. Any chance that you will do that ?


  16. John says:

    The Raven@22.21 .
    Is this blog to descend into a Grammarians’ Talking Shop ? Is it not better to stick to the subject matter of the article which was posted than to be hung up on the niceties of whether a noun can be used as a verb or vice versa.
    If you don’t like me, just say so. but don’t cloak it in a concern for English usage

    I don’t know about the ‘very special class of people’ to whom you refer. Using the word dialogue as a verb is in common use by all classes of people, except rigid pedants

    Why should the Pope call Lutherans liars ? Do you think that is the way to convert them ?


  17. johnhenrycn says:

    “…far tastier than the sour grapes, to which we are all accustomed.”
    Toad (16:02) – Mr Kehoe can never hope to compete with you when it comes to awarding the Rodney Dangerfield prize for slapstick. He’s a member of the bar (Elephant and Castle) in Dublin, but still, your bon mots are more arch (adj) than his.


  18. johnhenrycn says:

    John Kehoe (22:29) says: “I never mentioned what I had.”
    Actually, you have mentioned your meager LSE Human Rights diploma in the past. I, on the other hand, have never before mentioned – but I will now – going to a very prestigious kindergarten, the oldest one in Upper Canada – from whence I graduated like you did with a pass. My school still has my almost perfect attendance record available for inspection.


  19. marysong says:

    Reblogged this on Haurietis Aquas and commented:
    Ecumenism is not mentioned in the Bible. There is only one Church and one God. That is the Church which was born when Longinus, the Roman Centuriion, thrust his lance, the spear of destiny, into the side of Christ, in order to determine death. Water splashed upon Longinus, whereupon, he fell to his knees exclaiming: ” Truly this was the Son of God.”
    God bless you SSPX !


  20. JabbaPapa says:

    No, Protestantism brought nothing to Catholicism!

    True — but it did provide the occasion for the Counter-Reformation that was needed, and for the Council of Trent.


  21. The Raven says:


    I disagree with the ideas that you post on this blog and I dislike your manner of expressing them; I have no personal relationship with you that would allow me to form a liking or dislike for you, yourself.

    And I am quite certain that “dialogue” is not used as a verb by “all classes of people”; the only people who use the term in such a manner are those who see it as an end in itself, rather than the means to an end.

    as to your final point, we are hardly going to convert anyone to the Faith if we tell them that their own sect’s heresies are in some wise truthful. I don’t recall the great missionaries of the past tactfully skirting around the errors of the surrounding populations.


  22. John says:

    The Raven@ 07:15.
    Would it not be better that we allowed the Pope, as Supreme Pastor,some space to function as such without having persons continually barking at his heels, setting themselves up,without any authority or competence, as self -appointed censors ?


  23. johnhenrycn says:

    Sorry for the uncalled for Elephant and Castle snicker, John. I look forward to seeing you someday in your eponymous Dublin watering hole: at 9 South Anne Street.


  24. johnhenrycn says:

    “When in Dublin, the natural inclination is to go into all the pubs you can. Our suggestion: Don’t go into this one. With carpeting everywhere, dusty shelves and crickety chairs and stools, grimy is the only way to describe this pub. It’s sometimes fun to drink with the locals – just don’t pick this place with rude bartenders.”
    John Kehoe’s Pub. Trip Advisor. See link above.


  25. kathleen says:


    JH – you are such a rascal !
    But a lovable one.

    Trouble is, your teasing of Mr John Kehoe (however much he inadvertently asks for it) is causing some frothing, raging nutties to ensue from Dublin’s fair city. This fury is then expressed in torrents of unprintable cyber ink coming your way… and overtime work for the moderators in binning most of it!


  26. John says:

    johnhenrycn @ 18:30 and 18:34.
    Still not coming up with your own academic qualifications, if any, to match or better one of my own that, quite unnecessarily, you took the trouble to dig up and, based on misinformation, to depreciate and deride ?

    Lucky you, that the moderator gives you free rein to challenge my qualifications, but does not accord me an equal facility to question yours.


  27. johnhenrycn says:

    I’ll have you know that my first degree was from a very respectable red brick uni. Well, okay – a poured concrete brutalist Le Corbusier one if you insist, but let’s not dialogue anymore about our academic past. I think I learned more about life as a morgue attendant than at dull Law Society lectures.


  28. The Raven says:

    I sincerely doubt that the Holy Father is either aware of my opinions or would care a row of buttons for them if he was so aware: I am not constraining his actions in any way.

    In the meantime, I am at liberty to state my fundamental objection to this essentially dishonest enterprise of “ecumenism”. As with ARCIC, we squander time and resources glossing over our differences, achieving nothing in the process.

    Far better to give up the charade and do as Our Lord instructed us to do: make disciples of the nations; we won’t achieve that without teaching them the truth or by allowing them to damn themselves through heresy.


  29. johnhenrycn says:

    There was one building there – still standing – that had a particularly awful concrete ramp, about 200 – 300 yards in length, leading up to its front facade. Totally useless. The story is that our university president hated it. One day, he and another panjandrum were looking out at it one winter morning after it had snowed. They checked it for footprints at the end of the day, and finding none, his opinion was confirmed that it was ugly and totally misconceived. The ramp was thereupon torn down. But the emotional attachment some female classmates of mine from back then had for the ramp led them to collect pieces of it and turn them into relics, such as these earrings:


  30. John says:

    johnhenrycn@20:06 Suppose I were to say that any subject you studied at you red brick university was a non-subject, as you did of one subject of mine, what then ?
    Beware also the pedants or grammarians on this blog who will pursue you for using, as you have done, the word ‘dialogue’ as a verb. Bloggers on this site are more concerned with idle trivia than with substantive argument.


  31. kathleen says:

    Yes, I also feel I learned more those years I was doing volunteer work for Caritas (a Catholic Spanish charity that works with the poor), besides making some life-long friends, than I ever did studying and slogging away for exams.

    At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord if heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike” – (Matthew 11:25).

    Acquiring knowledge is good of course, but can never be an end in itself.

    Strutting, puffed-up ‘peacocks’ who look down their ‘beaks’ at the plain little chirpy ‘sparrow’, need to be reminded that Our Lord loves the sparrow too! And He had some pretty harsh words to say about those who give themselves airs and graces, whilst despising those they deem below them. Beware!


  32. John says:

    The Raven@ 20:22.
    Given your concern, and that of others herein, about persons being damned for heresy do you think we should reconstitute the Inquisition and burn a number of them as an example ? Perhaps this should have been the theme of the Pope’s dialogue with Lutherans in Sweden ? No skirting around the issue. Be blunt.
    After all, a little burning in this life is preferable to eternal burning in the next, as St Thomas More might have said ruminating on the fires at Smithfield in London where some of his victims tasted the flames.


  33. johnhenrycn says:

    Mr Kehoe asks: “Suppose I were to say that any subject you studied at your red brick university was a non-subject, as you did of one subject of mine…”

    Well I read history, old chap. You know – Thucydides and all that? Make of that what you will. Women’s Studies and Human Rights are not real academic disciplines, sorry.

    “Beware also the pedants or grammarians on this blog who will pursue you for using, as you have done, the word ‘dialogue’ as a verb.”

    You must really suffer, not being able to recognise jokes at your expense. I did think my use of dialogue as a verb without scare quotes would go over your head, but decided to chance it anyway. You remind me so much of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who is also said to have had Asparagus Syndrome. You have heard of Asparagus Syndrome, I presume?


  34. John says:

    johnhenrycn@21.49. ‘ Women’s Studies and Human Rights are not real academic disciplines’ you say. I am afraid you are showing your ignorance. Try telling that to the faculty heads at Harvard and Yale to mention but two universities which have strong Human Rights departments, apart from London University.
    With, for instance, what do you think the International Criminal Court in the Hague is concerned.? With the state of the weather ? Or,for example, with what do you think the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is concerned ? With how to grow bananas ?
    I don’t care to comment on the rest of your habitual nonsense.


  35. johnhenrycn says:

    Can I ask, Mr Kehoe: When you get out of bed in the morning, do you wind yourself up with a key?


  36. John says:


    I am afraid that I do not understand the implications of your question.


  37. johnhenrycn says:

    tic, toc, tic, toc – You are as predictable as a clock.


  38. The Raven says:

    Those are the only two options are they, John? Bonfires or equivocation?


  39. The Raven says:

    As John is insistent on his new word, I shall provide a definition for our readers:

    dialogue, vb: to spend time and resources talking for the sake of talking while pretending agreement with the other party. Not to be mistaken for its homophone “dialogue”, a noun, meaning a conversation with someone held in order to achieve a defined objective.


  40. JabbaPapa says:

    as St Thomas More might have said

    When one consults the detail of History rather than Anglican, Tudor, and anti-Catholic propaganda, one discovers that apart from some acquittals that this propaganda never mentions, St Thomas can only be directly associated with any more than one single case where the accused, who was guilty of the most atrocious blasphemies against Christ and God and was certainly no “martyr” for any manner of Christianity, perished from the death penalty.

    Otherwise, multiple actions by uncontrolled lynch mobs or by different men, all of whom later Apostasised from the Faith to become Anglicans, are quite falsely attributed to him.

    Apart from that, OED, 2nd Edition, 2009 :

    dialogue, v.


    [f. prec. n.; cf. F. dialoguer (1717 in Hatz.-Darm).]

    Hence also ˈdialogued ppl. a., ˈdialoguing vbl. n.

    1.1 intr. To hold a dialogue or conversation.

       1607 Shakes. Timon ii. ii. 52 Var. How dost Foole? Ape. Dost Dialogue with thy shadow?    1685 Trial of H. Cornish, etc., 28 You must not stand to Dialogue between one another.    1741 Richardson Pamela II. 45 Thus foolishly dialogued I with my Heart.    1817 Coleridge Biog. Lit. (1882) 286 Those puppet-heroines for whom the showman contrives to dialogue without any skill in ventriloquism.    1858 Carlyle Fredk. Gt. I. iv. v. 426 Much semi-articulate questioning and dialoguing with Dame de Roucoulles.

    b.1.b transf. and fig.

       1628 Earle Microcosm., Tobacco-seller (Arb.) 59 Where men dialogue with their noses, and their communication is smoak.    1892 Sat. Rev. 18 June 709/2 With oboe obbligato dialoguing now with sopranos, now with tenors.

    †2.2 trans. To converse with. Obs.

       1699 F. Bugg Quakerism Exposed 9 To dialogue the Bishops, and call them Monsters.    Ibid. 27 The Quakers dialogu’d the Bishops.

    3.3 To express in the form of a dialogue; to furnish with dialogue.

       1597 Shakes. Lover’s Compl. 132 And dialogu’d for him what he would say.    1781 F. Burney Diary May, Our conference grew very grave‥I have not time to dialogue it.    1885 Academy 16 May 356 A tale full of human interest, brightly dialogued.    1887 Contemp. Rev. May 717 The prodigious skill of his dialogued argumentation.


  41. The Raven says:

    It’s a fair cop, Jabba. It’s a shame that John didn’t think of such an obvious refutation of my teasing.


  42. kathleen says:

    @ The Raven

    Those with 0% sense of humour do not know how to cope with being teased. 😉

    I see the moderator has assigned Mr Kehoe’s latest spluttering, indignant complaints to the ‘bonfire’ where they belong, including more false accusations against the Church’s patron saint of lawyers, the courageous and erudite St Thomas More! Bye-bye.

    Did ecu-maniacs (not true ecumenicals, who simply practice brotherly love for others) exist before the Council, does anyone know? Or are they a breed born out of the crazy ‘Spirit of Vatican II’?
    The SSPX are fortunate in not having any in their ranks.


  43. JabbaPapa says:

    Did ecu-maniacs (not true ecumenicals, who simply practice brotherly love for others) exist before the Council, does anyone know?

    ecu-mania is an invention of 19th Century Protestantism (IIRC of the Baptist, Methodist, Evangelical varieties etc), and was condemned around a century ago in Mortalium Animos, and the same condemnation of the false ecumenism is repeated in the relevant Vatican II document.

    It is not a product of the Council, and we continue to be forbidden to partake in its Errors by both Mortalium Animos and Vatican II.

    What this District Superior of the SSPX in France, a District that BTW sadly includes a significant Gallicanist faction that is hostile to the Pontifical Sovereignty in itself, is wrong about is that Bishops and the Pope can authorise participation in ecumenical events on a case-by-case basis on the strict condition that these events do not seek to undermine the Catholicity and Truth of our Faith and our Religion. The clear declarations of the Prelates and the Pope against the continuing Errors of the Lutherans in various doctrinal positions contrary to Catholic Faith and the sensible expositions of Errors in Lutheran Dogma by those who reject these Errors are insufficient to justifiably constitute “reasons” to attack the Holy Father in his ongoing Magisterial duty to seek healing for the wounds of Schism.


  44. Toad says:

    “JH – you are such a rascal !
    But a lovable one.”

    Simpers Kathleen, like a teenage Mick Jagger fan.
    Well, Toad will go half way on that, with her.


  45. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 13:08

    Many thanks for this interesting reply, Jabba.
    And to think that I thought ecu-maniacism* was a play on the word, ecumenism, due to the craziness that has followed since it stepped into the limelight post V2 ! (*Can’t remember hearing about this 19th century Protestant heresy when I took a course in theology!) You live and learn… thanks to your friends. 🙂

    However, Nostra aetate, the ‘Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions’ of the Second Vatican Council, ostensibly the catalyst for the Ecumenical movement, contains passages that have been widely criticised for preaching a line that does not appear to follow the Church’s teaching prior to the Council. This would explain the gradual change in attitudes during those years that many of us were growing up, away from the clear precepts of Catholic Doctrine, towards a wishy-washy acceptance of Protestant heresies and lukewarmness! And all done in the name of tolerance, or some such thing. It certainly did no favour to anyone; neither to Protestants, by leaving them in their errors, nor to Catholics, by diminishing the importance of Evalgelisation to those ignorant of the Truth.

    Our poor Holy Father appears to have been one of those totally sucked up into the Ecumenical ideology! That is the “reason” he has been “attacked” criticised by many of the faithful, like Father Bouchacourt in the article above. Not for being merely friendly to Protestants – that in itself, as we all know, is a Christian duty towards all men – but for some of his shocking statements in Lund, and failing to point out the necessity of conversion to the Catholic Church, from whence comes our salvation.


  46. John says:

    Kathleen Nov 8 @ 23:49. You say ‘…. the Catholic Church, from which comes our salvation.’
    Salvation is available outside the Catholic Church.The priest Father Leonard Feeney S.J. was excommunicated for persistently preaching no salvation outside the Catholic Church.


  47. kathleen says:

    Mr John Kehoe @ 15:02 yesterday

    Mr Kehoe, you accuse me of binning all your comments (not true). However, I have restored this last one from you above ^, which I have just spotted sitting in the ‘trash’, so that I can respond to it.

    Father Leonard Feeney, S.J., was a faithful and entirely orthodox priest with a perceptive vision of the future malaise of the errors of Modernism that were to seep into the Church. His ‘excommunication’ for teaching what the Church has always taught (EENS) was invalid because of a defect of form, and unjust because he was excommunicated for his defense of Catholic orthodoxy in general, and of the doctrine “outside the Church there is no salvation” in particular. Fr. Feeney stirred up the wrath of the liberals who then used all the forces at their disposal to persecute him. Thus he was unjustly excommunicated for his defense of the Church as the only means of salvation established by Our Lord Jesus Christ!

    Mark you, nobody is denying that God, the Creator of all life, cannot save whomsoever He may desire to save, including those outside the Church through no fault of their own. But Our Lord Jesus Christ has given His One True Church, founded on Peter, all the power of Heaven to bind or loose on Earth all things. Therefore, the Church’s Doctrine (reaffirmed in many documents and Encyclicals by great Popes of former times) that there is “no salvation outside the Church”, must spur us on, the Church Militant, to seek Baptism and conversion to the Truth of the Catholic Church for all men. We cannot sit back and just hope that non-Catholic friends and neighbours are ‘saved’; we must actively pray and seek their conversion as a Christian duty.

    Read this prestigious Catholic site that gives a brief description of Fr Feeney’s life and how highly thought of he was by many prominent Catholics of his time:

    “Father’s genius as a writer, speaker and theologian, was attested to by some of the most prominent Catholic figures of his day. Bishop Fulton Sheen once said that the only substitute he would allow on his radio show was Father Feeney. Frank Sheed, of Sheed and Ward said, “For Father Feeney, dogma is not only true; it is breathlessly exciting. That is his special vocation. . . to make his readers feel the thrill.” During Father’s days at Oxford, Lord Cecil, the famous Oxford don admitted, “I am getting more out of my association with Leonard Feeney than he could possibly get from me.” Of the Jesuit’s writing, Cecil said, “it shines with a pure, clear light.””

    It is possible that Fr Feeney may have been guilty of other matters (e.g., failing to obey a Papal order to go to Rome to discuss his views; I cannot judge that), but his Catholic orthodoxy was sound. One day, I hope and pray, that this holy Irish Jesuit priest will be vindicated and given his due recognition for remaining faithful to Church Doctrine.


  48. Toad says:

    Lucky old John K – to get his comments “unbinned,” in order to knock them down. I’d like that done to mine as well, but mine are less interesting than Mr Keyhoe’s
    However I’m fascinated by the whole gory business related here, as usual.
    Was Feely really excommunicated or not? By the Pope? Unjustly or not, doesn’t concern me, matter of opinion, like being excommunicated is in any case. Is there some confusion here?
    I think we should be told.


  49. JabbaPapa says:

    Although Kehoe’s position is deeply flawed (just because God can in His Eternal Sovereignty grant Salvation to whom He chooses does NOT mean that Salvation therefore exists outside the Church, which would be a heretical proposal), Fr. Feeney was a condemned heretic, and his doctrines were heterodox.

    In the late 1940s Leonard Feeney, S. J. began to teach that there is no salvation outside the Church. He was correct in saying that there were official teachings, even definitions, on that score. But his tragic error came when he adopted Protestant method, thinking that in that way he would be one of the only true Catholics! We spoke of his protestant method with good reason. First, he was excommunicated for disobedience, refusing to go to Rome to explain his position. Then the Holy Office, under Pius XII, sent a letter to the Archbishop of Boston, condemning Feeney’s error. (It is known that Pius XII personally checked the English text of that letter). In the very first paragraph pointed out what is obvious: we must avoid private interpretation of Scripture — for that is strictly Protestant. But then the letter said we must also avoid private interpretation of the official texts of the Church. To insist on our own private interpretation, especially when the Church contradicts that, is pure Protestant attitude.

    What the disobedient Feeney said amounted to this: he insisted that all who did not formally enter the Church would go to hell. Hence he had to say, and he did say, that unbaptized babies go to hell. Further, all adults who did not formally enter the Church – get their names on a parish register – would also go to hell, even if they never had a chance to hear there was a Church, e.g., those in the western hemisphere during the long centuries before Columbus. Therefore Feeney consigned literally millions upon millions to hell, even though He gave them no chance.

    Feeney was a champion of the awful English translation of Unam Sanctam that still far too many people refer to, a translation that falsely claims that subjection to the Pope is a “requirement” for individual Salvation, whereas Unam Sanctam teaches in fact that subjection to the Pope is a necessary consequence from Salvation as such.


  50. Toad says:

    Well, thanks Jabba.
    Straight and to the point. I doubt if Feeney and I would ever have “got on,” but you never know.

    “What the disobedient Feeney said amounted to this: he insisted that all who did not formally enter the Church would go to hell.”
    I gather the Muslims think exactly the same about their religion. Well, there we are. All relative, I suppose.

    A moderator: As a comment, all very endlessly repetitious over 5 to 6 years, we’re sure.


  51. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 12:47

    Thank you for your reply. I had already read the EWTN article you link to, but other more conservative reports appeared to contradict parts of their statement. I began to look further into the question, avoiding the liberal, progressive sites that are not to be trusted. Even so, I realise now I must amend my former comment.

    Although I think your condemnation of Father Feeney as a “heretic” is over-harsh*, let me start by admitting that I was wrong and you were right in the assessment of Fr Feeney’s unswerving position on EENS. I apologise.

    * His failure to accept the saintly Pope Pius XII’s correction, and his refusal to even travel to Rome to discuss his position with Church authorities, led to his inevitable excommunication. He was not, however, an outright heretic – quite the contrary, in fact – but he failed in his duty to obedience on this one important issue.

    It seems that the fundamental error of Fr Feeney is that, according to him, original sin is wiped away ONLY by the character imprinted on the soul by Baptism.

    Fr Feeney does not deny that sanctifying grace can be obtained by an act of perfect charity, but he says it is not enough to be saved; according to him, just as nobody can become a priest without receiving the character of Holy Orders, so nobody can be saved without receiving the character of Baptism. Thus, since Baptism of desire and martyrdom do not imprint this character on the soul, they cannot save anyone! The flaw of his reasoning appears when we ask what happens to the souls in the state of grace who die without Baptism. He was at a loss to try to explain it!

    Fr Feeney denied there were “three kinds of Baptism” as taught by St Thomas Aquinas and described in the ‘Baltimore Catechism‘ (a Catechism that no one could deny as orthodox Catholic teaching) and in this intransigence is where he erred.
    May we pray for the soul of Father Feeney (d. 1978), who had done, spoken and written so much that was good and holy before he fell into disgrace.

    Anyway, thanks for clearing up my own “errors”, dear Jabba.


  52. JabbaPapa says:

    Although I think your condemnation of Father Feeney as a “heretic” is over-harsh

    I think EWTN’s article is overly lax, and/but I also disagree with their interpretation of extra Ecclesia nulla salus. I’ve pointed out why several times.


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