SSPX news & events

What the Italian District really said

July 22, 2013

In response to an Italian newspaper's mischaracterization of a commentary published by the SSPX's District of Italy about Pope Francis' Lampedusa visit, we offer this summary of what was actually said.

On July 8, 2013, Pope Francis visited the Italian island of Lampedusa, situated between Sicily and Tunisia, where a multitude of immigrants from North Africa have found shelter for many years and in whose waters thousands of them have met their deaths. The pope’s surprise visit was inspired by the recent shipwreck of a boat carrying immigrants from Africa, which had “profoundly touched” the pope, as explained by the Holy See’s Press Office.

In response to this event, the SSPX’s Italian District’s website ( published on Tuesday, July 16th an article entitled “Papa Franceso a Lampedusa” (“Pope Francis at Lampedusa”). Written by Fr. Mauro Tranqillo, an Italian SSPX priest, it is a commentary about what occurred during the papal visit to Lampedusa, not a declaration as mischaracterized by a short news piece of Gazzetta del Sud from the southern region of Italy.[1]

The Society’s critique begins by acknowledging that:

[T]he problem of immigration is always difficult to approach, because the real drama of so many individuals in poverty overlaps the very disturbing global scenario, with the dissolution of the Christian identity of Europe in a liberal cauldron of diverse cultures…"[2]

Fr. Tranquillo continues to explain that the latter scenario of immigration has led to false religions being placed on the same level as Christianity, which has contributed to religious indifferentism. Furthermore, the problems caused from mass immigration has been aided by liberal agendas (such as the procurement of cheap labor or promotion of a certain diversity of culture—and always anti-Christian it should be noted) which have enabled Muslims in particular to even take control of certain areas and gradually push out Christian culture—thus as the article observes, accomplishing what the armed “Mohammedan invasions” of the past could not.[3]

Nonetheless, the commentary’s main point is that the pope—by wishing abundant fruits for Ramadan—does not comply with the first and foremost mission of the Catholic Church which is the conversion and salvation of souls. On the contrary, he stated that a religious practice—Islamic fasting—of a false religion—Islam—can bestow spiritual fruits to souls. Thus Fr. Tranquillo observes that Pope Francis’ visit will simply add to the post-conciliar confusion as expressed by Nostra Aetate and according to the Modernist ideology.[4]
Father included in his critique a denunciation of the conciliar errors as put in practice by Pope Francis, such as religious liberty for all, the value of salvation of all religions, and that the liturgy must be incarnated in the experience of the community.[5]


1 “Lefebvrists chide pope over visit to immigrant island” published on July 16, 2013.

2 “Principles governing immigration” by Fr. Gregory Celier in the August 2007 issue of The Angelus.

3 Per Wikipedia:

According to latest Italian official statistics, Muslims make up about 34% of the 2,400,000 foreign residents living in Italy as of January 1, 2005. To these 820,000 foreign residents of Muslim heritage legally residing in Italy, another 100,000-150,000 should be added, as Muslims represent, according to annual estimates by the Italian association Caritas, about 40% of Italy's illegal immigrants."

4 Which has its root in the error of religious liberty—as found in Vatican II’s document, Dignitatis Humanae—which has abandoned the clear distinction between mere tolerance of a false religion as opposed to granting it equal rights with truth, the Catholic Faith.

5 In relation to the liturgy, it is interesting to note that in its July 9th edition, Corriere della Serra wrote in a slightly embarrassed tone that the 50 immigrants who accepted to meet Pope Francis, did so on the condition that they would not have to assist at his Mass.