The Nine, 30 years later

This afternoon the Restoration Radio network premieres a new monthly show called Clerical Conversations on the Crisis.  It will feature H.E. Bishop Donald Sanborn and Fr. Anthony Cekada as regular guests and will cover various issues of interest to Traditional Catholics, with a particular focus on the post-Vatican II epoch.

Today those two clerics will be joined by H.E. Bishop Daniel Dolan as we look back on the 1983 expulsion of priests from the SSPX in the Northeast District.  The issue was not about sedevacantism - that issue and its approach had already been settled in 1980 by the Archbishop in a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" fashion.  The break in 1983 was entirely about internal SSPX policies and the failure (then, as now) of the SSPX to have a coherent ecclesiology of the crisis.  They had no unified and consistent way to deal with Vatican II, the new "Mass," the new "Sacraments," and the Pope because their founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, would say different things on different occasions, depending on what the weather was in Rome.  When these priests who were expelled in 1983 were training at Econe in the late 1970s, they heard these words from the Archbishop:

We are suspended a divinis by the Conciliar Church, the Conciliar Church, to which we have no wish to belong! That Conciliar Church is a schismatic Church because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship ...The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is, therefore, not Catholic.

Those were his words in 1976 during the "Hot Summer."  Yet in 2013 any Catholic knows that the Conciliar Church and the Catholic Church cannot be the same thing, but in cognitive dissonance the party line that they are indeed the same thing is still upheld in the SSPX today.  This strange belief is rooted neither in either Catholic dogmatic theology nor even in big "T" Tradition that the SSPX touts themselves the lone guardians of: the belief that a schismatic "conciliar church" can be also the "Catholic Church."

Join us as we discuss the incoherencies then that the Nine priests spotted, how the confrontation with the Archbishop played out, and how the faithful in the Northeast chapels roundly backed the Nine, NOT the Archbishop (as the spin doctors would have you believe in the "stolen properties" narrative).  You'll also get to hear what 30 years of reflection on this pivotal moment meant for each of these priests.

The show will start at 3pm EDST.  We will take calls in the second half of the show.  As always, our shows are free and if you miss it live, you can simply listen to it in medias res and when the show wraps, download the podcast and listen to it from the beginning.

Stephen Heiner

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

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2 Responses

  1. For the second time in a week, I couldn't listen to the live broadcast on this and last week
    s program without it crashing multiple times. Still using IE; is that it?

  2. @Simply:

    Yes, I think IE is probably the problem. As an aside Chrome and Firefox will make your internet experience better, not just be a vehicle to listen to our podcast.

    If you still face problems with a different browser let me know!