From Fr. Wegner: 2017 in Review - SSPX Stands Firm
Dear friend of the Society,
It was a tumultuous year, filled with great expectations and great confusion.
The year began with much talk of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) receiving canonical regularization from Rome. In March, we received the surprise announcement that Pope Francis had taken the steps to remove all doubt concerning the validity of marriages celebrated by priests of the Society. This came at a time when the precise theological and doctrinal understanding of marriage was being challenged by Amoris Laetitia and the subsequent letter of Pope Francis to the Argentine Bishops, a source of great confusion, which prompted some bishops’ conferences to green-light communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics.
The confusion did not end there.
So much confusion.
2017 was a year in which our own Angelus Press dedicated an entire issue of The Angelus magazine to understanding the background and devastating consequences of the revolution started by Martin Luther 500 years ago. And, sorrowfully, 2017 was a year in which Rome sought to honor Luther with a bust in the Vatican and a commemorative stamp from the Vatican Post Office.
Indeed, it was a year in which so much confusion emanated from Rome that a large number of prominent Catholics, including our own Bishop Bernard Fellay, signed a public filial correction of the Pope for the grave errors presented in Amoris Laetitia.
And in the midst of so much confusion, the SSPX stands firm, providing answers and dispelling confusion by holding fast to tradition and the faith as it has been handed down to us for 2,000 years.
Will you stand with us?
Here, at the year’s end, in the midst of celebrating the Nativity of Our Lord, look at the state of Tradition in the Catholic Church and the work the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has accomplished in 2017. As Tradition continues to make advances within the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ remains under siege from heterodoxy, scandal, and indifferentism. Confusion reigns. Indeed, some of the faithful ask me, “How can we be happy with the growth of Tradition when there is still a crisis within the Church?” To that, I say do not be happy in a prideful sense; rather rejoice that our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the angels and saints of Heaven have intervened on behalf of traditional Catholics to ensure that the Church’s invaluable patrimony remains to be passed down to succeeding generations of Catholics.
As I have discussed in my previous letters, the SSPX’s apostolate continues to thrive. Our network of schools has grown to over 20 educational institutions, including St. Mary’s College. Similarly, the Brothers’ Novitiate has received an important boost by taking over the former St. Thomas Aquinas seminary grounds in Winona. However, in order to expand this indispensable ministry and keep the brothers’ new headquarters functioning, we continue to depend on your charity.
And let us not lose sight what all of this is ultimately for: the salvation of souls. Every aspect of the Society’s apostolate is directed toward the most important work of all, which is administering the Church’s sacraments in the traditional Roman Rite, particularly the graces of Confession and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
With all the confusion in the Church, no doubt it is easy to get discouraged at times. For every Catholic who steps through the door in one of our chapels, innumerable more persist in disregarding Church teaching or, worse, abandoning the Faith altogether. Civil society, too, remains ravaged by liberalism—religious, political, and economic. It would be so easy for us to despair, but that is not our calling. Our calling as faithful Catholics is to resist the spread of darkness and to work always, in concert with divine assistance, for the restoration of Christendom and the glory of God’s Holy Church.
Although none of us know what the future holds, may we never forget that the battle for Tradition, initiated nearly 50 years ago by our dear Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, began in a small European country with a handful of seminarians. Today, the Society boasts of over 600 priests with chapels and missions on six continents. The traditional Latin Mass, which many Catholics assumed was a dead relic only a decade ago, is attracting more and more Catholics to return to the faith of their fathers. While the work before us—clergy, religious, and laity alike—is formidable, “with God all things are possible.”
As always, our work cannot continue without your help. While it pains me to be constantly asking for money, it is a reality that none of our work can be accomplished without it. Will you stand with us? Will you commit a donation of $100, in thanksgiving for all your SSPX priests and all they do for you? If everyone reading this letter donates $100, or even $50, I can begin the new year with confidence that we can continue our apostolic work.
Or, mail a check to me at the Regina Coeli house:
SSPX US District
11485 N. Farley Road
Platte City MO 64079
Your donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by the law and they make it possible for us to continue the fight, dispel confusion, and preach the Gospel.
May God bless you abundantly for your generosity.
With appreciation I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Jürgen Wegner
United States District Superior