District Superior's Letter: Apr 2009
The past few weeks have been full of news concerning the Catholic Church, and specifically the Society of St. Pius X. The first major event and the most important one was, of course, the lifting of the “excommunication” of our four bishops
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
The past few weeks have been full of news concerning the Catholic Church, and specifically the Society of St. Pius X.
The first major event and the most important one was, of course, the lifting of the “excommunication” of our four bishops. The letter Bishop Fellay, our Superior General, addressed to you on this matter has already shed some necessary light to help you understand the new state of affairs with Rome.
Reactions to the decree have been very harsh. A severe press campaign was launched across the entire world, against the Catholic Church, the pope, and of course against the Society of St. Pius X. The interview of Bishop Williamson, given a few months before the decree to Swedish television, has been used by the press, and is the alleged reason to harass and discredit whatever is even slightly in favor of Catholic Tradition.
Thus, the label of “excommunicated,” used for so long to keep people away from Tradition, has been removed, but now a new attempt is made to discredit Tradition. A new label which like the old we absolutely reject as unfounded, is attached to us.
Many of you have read the different statements that Bishop Fellay had to make in order to distance the Society of St. Pius X from the positions expressed by Bishop Williamson in the interview on the specific matter of the Holocaust. Some may wonder why such statements were necessary to make.
It is important to remember that the mission of the Society of St. Pius X is essentially one of defending and living the Catholic Faith. God has revealed this Faith to us, and it is the Faith that is necessary for the salvation of our souls. The question of the Holocaust is a historical one, not a question of Faith. Hence it is of secondary importance, and cannot be allowed to become an obstacle to the Society’s primary mission.
Furthermore, unity among Society members and faithful is possible only if we keep our focus on the Faith. Disagreement on historical questions and other matters that are not of Faith is inevitable, and a source of certain division if we allow such questions to take on a disproportionate importance.
Because of the threat Bishop Williamson’s comments on the Holocaust pose to the Society’s mission and to the unity of the Society, Bishop Fellay has deemed it necessary to act firmly in his regard. As the superior of the Society of St. Pius X, God gives him the grace of state to make such decisions, however painful they might be. It is not for us to second-guess him in these prudential matters, but to support him by our charity and especially by our prayers.
The events of the past few weeks show us the necessity to re-focus our actions upon what is essential and crucial; the Faith and the Salvation of our souls.
As we have entered the time of Lent, I encourage you to make it fruitful, to offer prayers and sacrifices, particularly for the intentions of the bishops and priests of the Society of St. Pius X. In these difficult times we need to keep unity in our ranks, unity in doctrine, unity in prayer, unity under the guidance and leadership of our Superior General, Bishop Fellay.
With my prayers and blessings, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Fr. Arnaud Rostand