SSPX recognizes papal authority, hints discussions will continue

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St. Pius X, gestures during an ordination ceremony in Econe, Switzerland, June 29. (CNS photo/Denis Balibouse, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Hinting at a willingness to continue discussions with the Vatican and recognizing the full authority of the pope over the church, the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said it must defend church teaching from error.

“As for all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council, which remain tainted with errors, and for the reforms derived from it,” the statement said, “the society can only continue to uphold the affirmations and teachings of the constant magisterium of the church.”

The statement from the society’s general chapter meeting, which ended July 14, was posted in French, Italian, English, German and Spanish on the society’s website July 19.

Chapter participants “determined and approved the necessary conditions” for an eventual, full reconciliation with the Vatican, it said. If the conditions are met, “an extraordinary chapter with deliberative vote will be convened.”

The website said the statement had been sent to the Vatican prior to publication.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the Vatican does not consider the statement to be “a formal response” by the SSPX to the last document it asked Bishop Bernard Fellay, the society’s superior general, to sign.

Because “we do not consider it — and it is not — a formal response,” Father Lombardi said, the Vatican would not comment on the statement’s content.

“The Holy See has taken note of this declaration, but awaits the forthcoming official communication” of the society as its “dialogue with the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ continues,” he said. “Ecclesia Dei,” now headed by U.S. Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, is handling the discussions with the SSPX under the guidance of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The SSPX statement said members of the general chapter believe “the paramount duty of the society, in the service which it intends to offer to the church, is to continue with God’s help to profess the Catholic faith in all its purity and integrity with a determination matching the intensity of the constant attacks to which this very faith is subject nowadays.”

Chapter members formally affirmed their faith in the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchical structure in which “the supreme power of government over the universal church belongs only to the pope, vicar of Christ on earth.”

At the same time, members said they would continue to seek guidance from the “constant tradition of the church” as they await “the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.”

Ending with a prayer, the statement asked Mary “to chase the enemies out from inside the church,” saying some inside the church “are trying to destroy it more radically than its enemies from outside.”

Pope Benedict XVI launched a new series of doctrinal discussions with the SSPX in 2009, lifting excommunications imposed on its four bishops, who were ordained in 1988 without papal approval, and expressing his hopes they would return to full communion with the church.

As the discussions progressed, the Vatican gave SSPX leaders a “doctrinal preamble” to sign. The Vatican said the document, which has not been published, outlines principles and criteria necessary to guarantee fidelity to the church and its teaching.

When it appeared Bishop Fellay was close to signing an agreement with the Vatican, internal tensions within the SSPX erupted. The statement from the general chapter said that during the July meeting, the SSPX leaders recovered their “profound unity.”

— By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service 


  1. Once the Vatican is able to admit that V2 was a pastoral failure, the restoration can begin and the SSPX can be the first shock-troops to get the battle moving.
    Let’s pray this happens soon!

  2. Rod, I think you’re right. 100,000 priests left the priesthood since V2? This is sooo Catholic ‘inside baseball’ who is it really being reported to? God help us……………….JO

    • Compared to right before Vatican II, there are now, per Catholic (source: ),

      half as many priests
      quarter as many nuns
      half as many infant baptisms

      As a result of Vatican II, the only council in Church history called during a time of prosperity in the Church, and according to the Freemasons’ plans (cf. this: ), which Pope Leo XIII warned us about (cf. his encyclical Humanum Genus: ), we are now facing the Church’s biggest crisis.

  3. One fact absent from most discussions of Vat II is the huge distraction it was from the Fatima revelations on what Heaven wants for the Church. This fact sheds light on the nature of the “inspiration”, which Pope John XXIII thought came from his Guardian Angel, to call the Council. Since it is EVIDENT that Vat II factually DISPLACED ATTENTION from Fatima and since in order to have the Russian Orthodox send observers to it the papacy made a secret deal with the Soviets not to criticize in any way communism or the countries enslaved to it, WHAT FATIMA SAID, namely, that Russia would spread its errors over the world ACTUALLY ENTERED INTO THE POLICY OF THE PAPACY WITH THIS “deal with the devil” –btw, the Church got the short end of the deal, as the Russian delegates came only to the last session and there were only two of them, one bishop, one priest!
    This means that it is HIGHLY IMPROBABLE THAT THE POPE’S GUARDIAN ANGEL WAS THE SOURCE OF THE INSPIRATION TO CALL THE COUNCIL. Most likely the inspiration was merely HUMAN,ie Pope John’s own optimistic nature. But called it was, thus canonical and authoritative. After all Catholic teaching does not REQUIRE a universal council TO BE POSITIVELY INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, BUT ONLY PROTECTED BY THE SAME DIVINE PERSON FROM TEACHING ERRORS IN FAITH OR MORALS. Thus we can conclude with the discernment, looking at the combination of the supernatural intervention of Fatima as to WHAT HEAVEN WANTED FROM THE CHURCH and HOW THAT WAS IGNORED BY THE HIERARCHY UNTIL 2000, and then imperfectly done, AND DESPITE A NUMBER OF GOOD DECISIONS LIKE RESTORATIONS OF THINGS FORGOTTEN OR NOT SUFFICIENTLY EMPHASIZED (e.g.,the permanent diaconate and SScripture for the laity) the entrance of a WORLDY SPIRIT, ALIEN TO THE SUPERNATURAL CATHOLIC SPIRIT THROUGH THE EVENT OF THE COUNCIL AND SUBSEQUENT DECISIONS OF PAUL VI certainly needs to be recognized and practically corrected. This understanding is what makes the witness of SSPX VALUABLE.


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