Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Pius X Society: Restructuring of Ecclesia Dei Imminent

Faces Threat of New Excommunications in Germany

By Kris Dmytrenko

TORONTO, JUNE 15, 2009 ( An announcement that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will now oversee discussions with the Society of St. Pius X is imminent, says the society's general superior.

Bishop Bernard Fellay revealed to ZENIT that the congregation told him to expect the publication of a statement issued "motu proprio" (on his own initiative) by Benedict XVI on the new structure of Ecclesia Dei before June 20.

The bishop confirmed that he met June 5 with Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During a visit today to Toronto, the general superior explained that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, established precisely to oversee the process of healing the society's separation from the Church, will remain a distinct entity within the Church's dicastery for doctrinal matters.

"According to what we have heard," noted the bishop, "most probably, one of the monsignors of the congregation will be the executive head of Ecclesia Dei. So it will be very tightly united with the congregation."

Along with three other bishops ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988 without Vatican approval, Bishop Fellay had been automatically excommunicated, only to have the penalty lifted in January by Benedict XVI.

The Society of St. Pius X still lacks the canonical status required for the legitimate exercise of ministry, which, according to the Pontiff in a letter sent in March to all the Church's bishops, will only be granted when the society accepts the authority of the Second Vatican Council, along with the magisterial teachings of popes since the council.

Since 2000, the pontifical commission has been led by Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, whom Bishop Fellay describes as "very friendly" to the society. The bishop shared that, even after his June 5 meeting with Cardinal Levada, he remains unsure how the expected changes will affect negotiations with the Vatican.

"I don’t know [Cardinal Levada] enough to really answer the question. […] When we were received it was very courteous. He was gentle. […] I don’t frankly know what and if there will be a real change."

New excommunications

Most pressing for the new Ecclesia Dei leadership will be averting a new series of excommunications. On June 27, Lefebvrite Bishop Alfonso de Galaretta is scheduled to ordained three priests and three deacons in the society's Zaitzkofen seminary in Bavaria, Germany. Bishop Gerard Muller of Regensburg has warned the society that, until the issue of canonical status is resolved, the ordinations lack proper authorization and would thus merit disciplinary action.

"Our bishop is waiting for Rome to advise on how to respond," said diocesan spokesperson Jakub Schotz earlier this month. "But it will almost certainly result in the excommunication for these priests and the bishop who ordains them."

Bishop Fellay counters that the Society of St. Pius X already delayed subdiaconate ordinations in Regensburg earlier this year, and that he believes that the Vatican now "has no basic problems" with the upcoming priestly ordinations.

"We cannot just now say, 'stop breathing,'" he argues in defense of the society's continued administration of the sacraments. "We need to breathe. And, definitely, if the Pope was so good to take away the excommunications, that mean he doesn’t want us now to die."

The society is planning to proceed with the ordinations, despite Bishop Fellay’s concern that new excommunications could "jeopardize everything" and derail the society’s discussions with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Central to those talks will be the society's unambiguous condemnations of the Second Vatican Council, particularly in reference to the council’s affirmations of religious liberty, ecumenism and the separation of Church and state.

While the Swiss-born superior general prefers to resolve these doctrinal issues before he accepts canonical status in the Church, he insists that he is open to reaching a provisional compromise position with the Vatican.

"If Rome gives us enough guarantee, so to say, of survival, I think probably we would certainly consider it," he said. "We have no problem with the Church recognizing us, of course."


Anonymous said...

The founder of SSPX, Archbishop Lefebvre was unjustly excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in July 1, 1976 together with the four newly ordained bishops but SSPX itself is a legitimate Catholic society attached to Rome.

This so called 'excommunication' was null and void. The reason for this infamous suspension was because of SSPX refused to celebrate the new Mass of Paul VI and instead remained loyal to the Traditional Latin Mass, the Mass of all times.

Archbishop Lefebvre observes: "... we have been condemned, without trial, without opportunity to defend ourselves, without due warning or written process and without appeal." (Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p. 150 [APPENDIX II])

According to German canonist Fr. Rudolph Kaschewsky, the 1988 Consecrations did not incur excommunication, nor were they a schismatic act.

The 'excommunication' was lifted and declared void on January 1, 2009. SSPX in the first place, and always maintained that this unjustly excommunication was null and void.

To say that SSPX is still lacks the canonical status required for the legitimate exercise of ministry, is like rubbing salt to the wound, and going against the highest law. i.e. towards the salvation of many souls.

If bishops around the world and even in Malaysia or Sabah, are 'allowed' ignore the Pope's wishes to liberate the Traditional Latin Mass, why is the double standard towards SSPX and Catholics faithful under their care?

To instruct the faithful to accept Vatican II new teachings means to abandon the Sacred Tradition of Catholicism. Is this what we want? A new religion?

Haelius...Hailey...Hai Li... said...

it's not that the bishops ignored the Pope's decree, but it is to be well suited with the faithful's need...u just cannot implement something that is too radical or far too alien to the faithful...(ie the Traditional Mass....)

for me, wat bishops can do is to re-introduce the Sacred Traditions of the Church in an indirect way...maybe for example, have some part of the Mass be said in Latin when it comes to the very solemn Mass (Christmas, Easter Sunday or any Solemnities...)...I'm quite sure Fr Dakun doesn't have any objections to this, as faithful dun have any problem in understanding the Mass...(the vernacular language Mass translation is somewhat similar to the Mass in Latin, right?so, just read the Missal...and some of them had already memorised the flow of the mass, so even if the prayer "Aku Percaya akan Satu Allah" is sung in Latin (Credo in Unum Deum), there'll be no problem for the faithful, since they have already memorised the prayer of at least have the Missal...:D

as for the music, I really hope many priests will re-use the most solemn Gregorian Chant....especially in solemn Masses...well, for me, the solemnity of the Mass will be illuminated more if the celebrant use chants wwhen they recite the Prayers, the Preface, the Canon, and the Final Blessing.

there are many ways of re-introducing the Sacred Traditions to the Church today...but maybe the hardest part will be the implementation...not all faithful will be happy with it...but that's the reality...we cannot satisfy everyone's need, but what we can do is to make sure their need is heard and try to suit them accordingly...

dear katolik, I strongly hope that u will return again to the agreement that Vatican II is indeed the Sacred Council of the Catholic Church...tidak dipaksa tetapi alangkah baiknya kalau kesatuan antara kita terpancar dikalangan umat2 Kristian yang lain...

Anonymous said...

Why NOT the New?

2,000 years of Venerable usage.
Tried and true

Fabricated in 1969. Experimental.

Clearly a sacrifice an altar, a priest.

Clearly a meal, a table.

Centered on God. Structured for reverence.

Centered on man. Loose structure invites abuses.

Completely Catholic: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic

Half Protestant. Lacks all Four Marks.

Codified at Council of Trent by a Pope Saint(Pope St. Pius V)

Contrived for approval of six Protestant ministers.

Fruitful! Multitudes of saints, martyrs, religious vocations.

Barren! Empty seminaries, decreased Mass attendance, massive defections.

"…By this our decree, to be valid IN PERPETUITY, we determine and order that NEVER shall anything be added to, omitted from, or changed in this Missal…"
Pope St. Pius V
July 19, 1570

"With the New Liturgy, non-Catholic communities will be able to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with the same prayers of the Catholic Church."Max Thurian Protestant Minister of Taiz√©"…nothing in the renewed Mass need really trouble the Evangelical Protestant."M. G. Siegvalt Protestant Professor of Dogmatic Theology, Strasbourg.
THE TRADITIONAL MASS! Never abrogated by Holy Mother Church!THE NEW MASS An Experiment That Failed.

The most important is to save one's soul as we cannot rely on the Church to save our souls (Quoted from Sr Lucia).


Avanus said...

Well said, Isabel. Btw Cain and Abel, Abel offered his best yielding to God and God accepted his offering and rejected Cain's, btw New Mass and TLM, TLM is the mass of the saints, hence more pleasing to God. Pray the Rosary for the gift of enlightenment.