Thursday, December 1, 2011

Society of St Pius X rejects a "Preamble"

Pope Benedict with SSPX leader Bishop Bernard Fellay
For some time the Vatican (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) has been in talks with the Society of St Pius X. Here Zenit reports that the SSPX has rejected the "doctrinal preamble" presented to them by the CDF. Well, I suppose they consider it important to get the "preamble" (the before walk) right before proceeding on the walk!

I have to say that they probably have a point about "the sterility of 50 years of openness to the modern world." I am glad the Church is looking in on itself now, concentrating on getting the liturgy right, restoring right teaching, etc.

ROME, NOV. 30, 2011 ( The superior-general of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has declared that his group is not in full agreement with the content of a "Doctrinal Preamble" offered to them by the Vatican.

The preamble is the first part of a document designed to bring the Society of St. Pius X back into communion with Rome. It was sent to the group in September, by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Bishop Fellay made his opinion known in a Monday interview posted on the organization's Web site. He said that a note accompanying the preamble explained that the text was not definitive, so that is why they are proposing some changes.

He claimed the preamble needed "many modifications" but added that for the moment he was not going to make public the text itself or what changes the group is requesting. He did say that once talks with the Vatican have taken place following the society's proposed amendments, the text of the preamble will be made public.

The interview made clear that the path to reconciliation between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X will not be easy. Bishop Fellay spoke openly of his dissatisfaction with some of the documents of the Second Vatican Council and of "the sterility of 50 years of openness to the modern world."

The preamble sent to the society by the Vatican continues a series of conversations begun in 2009. The rupture was formalized when the society's founder and then leader, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, illicitly ordained four bishops in 1988 without the authorization of the Roman Pontiff.


  1. The title is slightly misleading, Father. The Preamble has been rejected as it is. But no one, including the Vatican, ever said that the text is definitive and amendments cannot be made. In fact amendments have been proposed by the SSPX and the discussions go on.

  2. Yes, you are right. I suppose the fact that it has not been "accepted" is the point. Thank you.

  3. Father, if you carefully read what Bishop Fellay has actually stated in his interview (see, you will note that he has not even sent a reply to the Vatican yet, let alone outright reject it. This is important clarification that many news outlets are not making.

  4. I don't know why the pope bothers with these people. THey will never be happy until the pope kisses Fellay's shoe. Big time waster.

  5. Reading Fellay's interview actually gave me the impression of a very reasonable man. Patience, patience. I happen to think that there are reasonable people within the Society who have some valid points to make to us.

  6. The debate may seem dry and obtuse to some but goes to the core of the crisis in today's Church. One feels Bishop Fellay's frustration.

  7. I think Fellay is 'reasonable' only if you consider him in context of a corporate board room. However, this is not the case here. They are still stomping on thin ice. Consider his statement: ' For we have not forgotten that there are many doctrinal differences at the origin of the dispute between Rome and us these past forty years; setting them aside in order to obtain a canonical status would expose us to the danger of seeing the same differences crop up inevitably, which would make the canonical status not just precarious but quite simply unlivable.'

    DOCTRINAL differences? Really? Then I suggest the SSPX get with the program. Rome is not going to bend on doctrinal matters to these hubris filled potentates. You don't 'negotiate' doctrinal points with 'the rock' the church is built on. And that 'rock' ain't Fellay and his toadies.

  8. Reasonable indeed - unlike the commentator above...

  9. 'Light of the World' p.107 expresses Pope Benedict’s personal opinion or is the ordinary magisterium: the pope wrongly assumes those saved in invincible ignorance are known exceptions to the dogma and the SSPX position on ecumenism and non Catholic religions
    A comment on this blog says that in Light of the World (Ignatius)p.107 the Holy Father was only expressing a personal opinion.Whether it was his personal opinion or the ordinary magisterium there was a factual, objective error.

    I respect Pope Benedict XVI and I value what he writes.The point I wanted to make was that we do not know explicit cases of those saved in invincible ignorance etc as the pope assumes. Since we do not know any of these cases they are not explicit exceptions to the ancient teaching that there is exclusive salvation in the Catholic Church only and there are no (known) exceptions.

    Since the pope makes this error he assumes that Vatican Council II mentions exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Since he thinks there are so many exceptions ( seeds of the Word, good conscience etc),then for him, the traditional position on ecumenism and other religions of the Society of St.Pius X(SSPX) is flawed. He would expect the SSPX to accept that there are defacto known cases of non Catholics in the present time (2011-2012 ) saved in invincible ignorance etc.We know there are no such cases.

    These cases are always possibilities. They can never be defacto known to us. Since they are only possibilities always, they do not contradict the defined dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus which says all need to convert into the Church for salvation. It also does not contradict Ad Gentes 7, Vatican Council II which states all need Catholic Faith and the baptism of water for salvation.

    The SSPX needs to publicly state that there are no known exceptions to the dogma mentioned in Vatican Council II. There are no reference texts.

    Also before any decision is taken on the SSPX a public clarification (non secret) should be asked of the the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,Vatican.

    The pope approved two position papers of the International Theological Commission(ITC) with the same error. The two papers are

    Christianity and the World Religions(1997)


    The President of the ITC was Cardinal Luiz Ladaria, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He represented the Vatican in failed talks with the SSPX. They differed over the issue of ecumenism, inter religious dialogue and religious liberty indicated by the Open Letter to the SSPX by Mnsgr.Nicola Bux, Consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Pope .

    It may be mentioned that though the pope made the objective error in the book by Peter Seewald in none of the magisterial documents, including those issued by Cardinal Ratzinger and then Pope Benedict XVI, is it said that those saved in invincible ignorance etc are known to us personally or that they are explicit exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.No magisterial text including that of Vatican Council II makes this error.
    -Lionel Andrades


Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...