Quo Vadis, SSPX? Part II: Reconciliation, at long last

Today is April 17th in Europe, where the future of the SSPX has already been decided.  Despite it being the age of email, there still has to be the formal exchange of letters and the waiting which diplomatic protocol has necessitated for centuries.

For those of us whose sacramental and daily Catholic lives will not be affected by an SSPX "reunification," the fascination is still intense, as the drama of "Rome and Econe," as the Archbishop so often put it, has now spanned over four decades.  Its time is now drawing to an end.

Before I explain why I think there will finally be a deal, I want to point this out to those who consider themselves "true blue" SSPX: this is the logical consequence of recognizing this man as Pope.  At some point, you will stop "negotiating" with the man you consider the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth and you will actually start doing what Catholics are supposed to do: obey him.  

Because the SSPX has been nebulous for years on the true status of Vatican II and the New Mass (Fr. Schmidberger publishes a pamphlet condemning its errors, then Bishop Fellay says the SSPX accepts 95% of the Council; the Archbishop calls the Novus Ordo the Mass of Luther, but the SSPX authors a poorly-done anonymous pamphlet which merely deplores a rupture in liturgical tradition, neatly sidestepping an attack on what is best termed, in Hamlet's words, "maimed rites."), the faithful really don't know what to think or say.  Some faithful think there should ultimately be a union, others, true to their revolutionary Puritan American roots, prefer endless "resistance" to the "established Church."

SSPXers should be happy.  They are finally "coming home."  And they are coming home into the arms of the only man who would likely have them.  The man stuck in the cognitive dissonance that is Vatican II.  Indeed, he helped write that Schoenberg-like noise.  Latin should have pride of place, BUT where needed the vernacular should be used, etc. etc. etc.

Here are the reasons that there will finally be a reconciliation.  They are listed in order of importance and relevance:

1.  Bishop Fellay has run his organization with an iron fist over the last decade.  He has appointed all the District Superiors and has forced changes in the rules of the SSPX that disallow anyone, including the 3 other bishops, to speak "on behalf of the SSPX."  No priests may write blogs or give interviews or write sermons that deviate from "the party line."  This is a novelty in the Church.  There is no "Franciscan" or "Jesuit" position on anything.  He is in a situation - right before an upcoming Chapter of the SSPX - to make a decision with little to no veto from the mostly powerless superiors.  He has stripped them, through maneuvers, of any effective ability to countermand his decisions.  It is said that Bishop Williamson and the other 2 bishops are opposed to a deal, but we shall see what will ultimately happen.

2.  The faithful do not own the chapels.  They have zero leverage.  The SSPX owns everything.  Even if faithful do wish to leave, whither will they go?  Is it likely after years of having daily and Sunday Mass, a local school, and a parish life that they will return to garage Masses?  Not likely.  What will be interesting will be to watch the chemistry of parish life change as the "fraidy cats" - those who were afraid of "excommunication" for attending SSPX Masses come in and bring their modern and modernist ideas into the SSPX chapels.

3.  The time has finally come.  The dance can only go on so long.  La Croix presciently stated that if the SSPX does not sign now, it will never sign.  What's the point of saying over and over that there are "problems with the Council" when the SSPX has never been willing to go all the way and say there are outright heresies in Vatican II and that this fact alone calls everything into question.  If you have "difficulties," at some point they will have to be resolved.  If you find "heresies," and the man you consider Pope helps promulgate them, then you have no solution.  It's its own twisted version of a self-defeating practical sedevacantism called "recognize and resist."

4.  The clergy do not possess the will to oppose Bishop Fellay.  The men who are true characters - men with real vim and vigor because they are willing to use their MINDS that were given to them by God - have been banished to Europe, Asia, or Australia.  The vast majority of the rest of the clergy, with clear exceptions here and there, will fall in line.  In some ways, this is good and Catholic - you should obey.  But because the SSPX has never been sure of what exactly it feels about the Council and the Mass, there is, of course, confusion.

5.  Leftward drift of the official publications of the SSPX, viz. DICI, the Angelus, SSPX.org in the United States, and the Letters of the Superior General and the various District Superiors.  Routinely now we are told stories of Novus Ordo Bishops and there are defenses of various Novus Ordo actions and publications.  The tone of many of the publications is now accommodationist.  The change has been slow and subtle, over several years, but it has been obvious to those of us who actually read what the SSPX publishes.

6.  Anecdotal accounts from around the US and other parts of the world of strange-sounding sermons - of a sort of preparing the way for faithful to accept the Novus Ordo structure.  Part of this has been fueled by the use in the United States of priests ordained in the New Ordinal, which falls under a rite of episcopal consecration that Bishop Tissier de Mallerais has publicly doubted, and which the Archbishop himself doubted.

I would urge those who are themselves confused about the situation to pray, as Bishop Fellay said, for guidance.  For those who have claimed to recognize JPI, JPII, and BXVI as true popes, welcome home.  For those of you who cannot see how you can reconcile yourselves to Vatican II and the New Mass coexisting within your Catholic universe, perhaps it might be time to call some things Catholic and some things what they are: not Catholic.  

Then follow the consequences, wherever they lead you, no matter how frightening they be, asking Our Lord for guidance and Our Lady for strength.

Sancte Pie Decime, ora pro nobis.

Stephen Heiner

Stephen founded True Restoration in 2006 and served as its first President until 2023. He now lives in Reading, Pennsylvania.

You may also like...

9 Responses

  1. This will the begining of the future PROSECUTION… rome AND the (ex)fsspx will go after all the remanent Catholics that will refuse to join the apostate rome…

    As they prosecuted all the priest when the "novus ordo" was forced… prosecuted all the ones that rejected the FALSE MASS…

    THE TRAP HAS CLOSED… the last enemies of rome, had been caught on the net that was active on those years…

    The Church will enter on the last stages, foreseen by the Sister Katherine Emmerick… The two churches… One DARK, one in ruins…

    The preface for the enemy of the humanity and God, have the table served.

  2. giancarlo says:

    I'm just another traditional Catholic, but if I may say, an agreement in which the Society will become a real part of the structure of the Conciliar church will, I think, end my association with the Society. It cannot be otherwise. I left the Conciliars decades ago because my eyes were opened and I saw who they were — the enemy. Why should I now want a room in their mansion? So I can wake up one day to find someone smothering me with a sort of spiritual pillow?

    And if I may say something else: I remember a time when in traditional chapels the recent Popes were rarely if ever mentioned from the pulpit, they were considered such an embarassment. A picture may have hung on the wall to show that the chapel wasn't sedevacantist, but that was the extent of it.

    Now however I must hear about how the Pope is sincere and that I somehow owe it to the Pope to give him the benefit of the doubt — this man who mercilessly drove me and other traditionals years ago from our parishes.

    Not hardly.

  3. Friends,

    Congratulations from Brazil!!!

    Sandro de Pontes

  4. The SSPX has become a social club for upper middle class "Trad" families and many poor families stranded in places like St. Mary's and Post Falls. Unfortunately this is the trajectory an organization takes when the prestige of the group is more important than the Faith. These upper middle class "Trads" want accommodation with the world, and now they get to say they have papal approval. Isn't it nice for them. I predict the SSPX is going to be an extremely tepid organization in 20 years. The leadership has been in that state of mind for some time. Tepid about the Faith anyway. Not so tepid about their other interests.

  5. Unknown says:

    I am one of the, as you termed us, "fraidy cats," you know afraid of losing my immortal soul by disobeying the Vicar of Christ. There are many of us who prayed for this day for many years. For me it has been 21 years, for others, 40 or more.

    How pained we have been trying to remain faithful, putting up with countless liturgical abuses, poor catechical teaching and absolute nonsense.

    Our "modernist ideas" are nothing more than what Holy Mother Church has held sacred and absolute for 2000 years.

    We are tired. We have written letters, signed countless petitions, argued with liberals and heretical priests, religious and laity until we were blue in the face AND prayed, prayed and prayed some more. Yes, the hard work! Some have literally died of broken hearts from it all, others driven ever so slightly out of their minds.

    What will we ask if we attend an SSPX chapel? To be welcomed with
    open arms, not snubbed, or thought of as less-thans, or as you put it, "fraidy cats."

    I will offer my Te Deum today with a heart full of thanksgiving to Almighty God for bringing about this reconciliation so desperately needed.

    -Ryan J Hilliard

  6. Giancarlo,

    "Why should I now want a room in their mansion?"

    It is NOT their mansion! It is OURS, not theirs! They stormed in and seized control of the place. It is time we started pushing them back out again.

    We cannot do that if we perpetually stand on the street out front and yell at them, waiting for some sort of miraculous, divine intervention that causes a sudden "conversion" of the occupiers.

    Never in history, in the many crises that have affected the Church, have good men withrawn and waited for such an intervention. Like our forebears in faith, it is up to us to take the opportunities that Providence affords us, and do all we can to take that Mansion back.

  7. "unknow"… So, you LEAVE the fight?… who does you think that is miss-guiding the boat? the priests? the bishops?… nah! it have a name: a FALSE Peter…

    "Where is Peter is the Church"…
    but, on our times translates to:
    "Where is the false peter, there is the false church"
    "Uncle Clair":
    The question is: How can we throw them outside the Church?
    How many of us are? what weight does we have?
    Any practical suggestions? how to make the fight harder?… I am out of ideas… and most of it: because the whole world does not want to hear, and DOES NOT CARE ABOUT…
    Did you remember on Noah times? did it care about the predictions?… nah! they went on his usual life… and all died..

  8. Joe:
    Does you think that the world will survive another 20 years on this condition???

    You are too optimistic!… Each year, the mankind goes far away from God, and His Rigths… How long does you think that the world will survive WITHOUT the Real Presence around the planet?

    How many REAL PRIESTS could live on this planet? how many of the millions of humans sustain the True Faith? and live accordingly?

    I dont belive that God could leave more time to us… His Rights and Justice must prevail against the apostasy of the many….

  9. Barona says:

    Friends – there is one Church. She is visible etc. Read Vatican One.