District Superior's Letter: Mar 2009
The past few weeks have been full of news concerning the Society of St. Pius X. You have surely read the letter that Bishop Bernard Fellay wrote to the faithful regarding the lifting of the excommunications by Rome...
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
The past few weeks have been full of news concerning the Society of St. Pius X.
You have surely read the letter that Bishop Bernard Fellay wrote to the faithful regarding the lifting of the excommunications by Rome.
You must also have heard of the huge anti-Catholic campaign that the press has orchestrated in Europe at first, then in America and now throughout the world.
Pope Benedict XVI, indeed, has released the so-called excommunications from the Episcopal Consecrations of 1988. That is the important fact. We would expect the Society of St. Pius X to be attacked on its specificity—the defense of the traditions of the Catholic Church, the Latin Tridentine Mass, of course, but also and mostly the resistance that we have always shown to the Second Vatican Council. We would expect that we would be criticized and confronted on our opposition to Religious Liberty, or ecumenism and the like.
But no, it is easier as the proverb says, “Lie, lie, something always will remain”; we are harassed with false accusations of anti-Semitism. We have never been, and will never be anti-Semite, simply because of the New Testament Law, which is a law of Charity.
It is obviously manifest that behind this media operation, the aim is to discredit the Society of St. Pius X, but also and even primarily the Catholic Church and the pope himself. It is a press campaign to disrepute anything Catholic and whatsoever is done, even if only slightly, in favor of Catholic Tradition.
Under this pressure, on February 2nd, the Vatican Secretary of State has stated that despite the release of the excommunications of our four bishops, the Society of St. Pius X has no canonical status (according to them). It was then made clear that for future recognition of the Society of St. Pius X, a full acceptance of the Second Vatican Council will be absolutely indispensable.
We are grateful to the pope for the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007. We have always expressed our gratitude to His Holiness. We are now also thankful for the release of the excommunications; we see these decisions as courageous and good signs. We have no fear in acknowledging that, no fear to convey our appreciation. As we have already stated, we hope that the motu proprio as well as the new decree will help to clear, in the eyes of many, the invalid condemnation of Catholic Tradition.
At the same time, we reaffirm what we have always said. We refuse to acknowledge the validity of the excommunications of 1988. We state repeatedly that the consecration of the four bishops by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was not illegitimate. On the contrary, we are more convinced than ever, that it was an absolute necessity to maintain the Tridentine Mass and to save Catholic Tradition. It was a meritorious and heroic act for the defense and safeguard of Catholic Doctrine and Liturgy.
Today, we express our gratitude and faithfulness to the positions and decisions of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. We declare our thankfulness also to the four bishops for accepting their episcopal consecrations, and for continuing to ordain true priests during the past two decades in order to, and only to, preserve Catholic Tradition.
We also reaffirm that the Second Vatican Council has broken away from the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church; in particular, but not exclusively, in the declaration Dignitatis Humanae on Religious Liberty, the constitution Lumen Gentium and the decree Nostra Aetate on ecumenism.
For years, we have asked for discussions about these doctrinal questions, for in conscience we cannot accept teachings contrary to what the Church has always taught. The only answer we receive has always been, “accept the Council!” When will the time come that we can start these essential and indispensable talks? This is certainly what we respectfully, but steadily plead for to Rome.
During these days of confusion, I exhort you to remain faithfully united. The devil always tries to divide, to inspire some fear that “the Society of St. Pius X is giving up” or on the contrary, “the Society is getting too hard…”
Unity in prayer and in doctrine is the only answer; the recent effect of offering to Our Lady so many rosaries is proof of that. Let not any attempted division undermine us;
But let us have confidence in Divine Providence, and in the graces which our Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay receives to lead us in this time of crisis.
May God bless you.
In the Immaculate Heart,
Fr. Arnaud Rostand