To His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay,
Priestly Society of St Pius X,
February 19th 2014
We, the undersigned Australian and Asian faithful, presently attached to Catholic Tradition, have signed this open Declaration and Appeal for the following purposes:
1) To call into question the actual change of direction of the SSPX under your leadership;
2) To expose:
CHANGE OF DIRECTION
It appears evident to us that over the past 5 years or so the SSPX has altered its doctrinal and practical positions, and as a consequence its integrity, strength and unity have been eroded from within. Its once uncompromising mission to warn the faithful of the dangerous errors of our times has slowly been dissipated.
The current evidence from the SSPX indicates a continuing intention to facilitate an agreement with Modernist Rome. The Doctrinal Preamble of April 15th, 2012, officially signed and submitted to Rome by you, My Lord, is testimony to a willingness to surrender the Fight for the Faith through grave errors and ambiguous expressions. Such grave changes justify our resistance to any weakening of doctrine, which will inevitably lead to the loss of souls and the implosion of the SSPX.
Whilst various doctrinal aspects remain on your agenda, it now appears clear that these are secondary and that you regard the “canonical recognition” as the essential priority and objective of the SSPX by which everything must now be “redefined” according to this new priority.
Given that you have conceded that “Rome need not convert in order for the Society to accept a canonical structure” (albeit with the supposed “right to critique” Vatican II and the Novus Ordo), this attitude will simply be suicidal for the SSPX and the faithful who presently support the Society.
Prior to 2007, the SSPX was faithful to the consistent and final stance of Archbishop Lefebvrewho rightly recognised the impossibility of making any doctrinal or practical agreement with Rome whilst theofficial hierarchy continued to remain attached to Modernism and Vatican II. This principle was reaffirmed at the 2006 General Chapter of the SSPX, but has since been abandoned by the current leadership of the SSPX.
The following facts have shown that the SSPX superiors have abandoned this principle:
Extensive evidence shows us that, even now, the SSPX is still preparing its priests and faithful for a “Canonical recognition” following a practical agreement with Modernist Rome.
Further confirmations of these preparations are the lack of warnings from the SSPX pulpits against the heresies of Vatican II, and the main perpetrators of those errors, especially the current and recent Popes. The errors of Vatican II previously and frequently denounced by the SSPX are: Liberalism, Modernism, Ecumenism, Secularism, Naturalism, Rationalism and Personalism.
GRAVE ERRORS AND AMBIGUITIES
As a consequence, the SSPX has since noticeably weakened its doctrinal stance against the New Mass, the new Sacraments, Vatican II’s religious liberty, ecumenism and collegiality, the Indult Mass, the new Canon Law, the teachings on Catholic Modesty, and on the Jews, etc.
Then these false positions become false principles fixed in the minds of one and all alike, who begin to believe and then accept that “the Conciliar errors are not as bad” as the SSPX once painted them, and that the Modernist Hierarchy is “converting,” and “is now open to Tradition.” In consequence the faithful predictably lower their guardand are influenced in favour of the Conciliar Church and its errors; they thus become more receptive to making a deal with Rome!
You are well aware that we have a double duty towards the Faith: namely to profess it and to defend it. To profess it means to teach it in its integrity and purity, but grave errors and ambiguities are replacing it. Defence is always characterised by the condemnation of errors which is precisely what the leaders and priests of the SSPX are not doing as in the past. Why? The main issue in our combat is about FAITH.
Our resistance means rejection of errors, as well as the denunciation of and opposition to all the teachings of the Conciliar Popes contrary to the perennial Magisterium and Tradition of the Church.
Sadly, by false obedience, most of the laity and significant numbers of SSPX clergy accept without thought or question, the new statements of the SSPX Superiors. Having repeatedly heard, although not being able to prove, that “nothing has changed and things are improving,” they gradually alter their viewpoint.
New Rome’s plan is clear – “convert all traditionalists to the “New Religion” by first promising them “the world,” then by assimilating them into the errors of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo.
The foregoing is clearly proved by reference to the nine former Traditional communities who, since 1988, have thus far already compromised with Rome by entering into agreements similar to the one proposed to the SSPX. Will the SSPX be added as “the latest and final acquisition” to New Rome’s trophy room…?
Today’s Rome has NOT, and is NOT turning away from Modernism -- quite the contrary. Accordingly, we must therefore absolutely refuse to adopt a ‘compromise mentality’, or otherwise fail to teach the truth to our children and the world at large.
Meanwhile, we have learned that, in a bid to improve the SSPX’s popularity and public image, a hugely expensive and initially secretive “branding” exercise was begun using the services of a secular Public Relations firm. This initiative explains the subsequent changes in the content and tone of the Society’s publications, i.e., the Angelus Press, Regina Caeli Report, DICI, sspx.org and even SSPX schools. Why should the Society worry so much about what the modern anti-Christian world thinks and ask for its “seal of approval”? It is the proof that Secularism has overtaken the SSPX.
We see clearly that the spirit of the SSPX is now tepid and that the once great zeal for combat for the Faith no longer pervades the air of Tradition!
“Man cannot serve two masters!” said Our Lord. One is either a friend with the secular world and thus an enemy of Christ, or opposed to the secular world choosing Christ the King. Anything other than service to Christ is a betrayal of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church and a betrayal of the mission of Archbishop Lefebvre as well.
Meanwhile, although no practical agreement has yet been signed with modernist Rome, this does not mean that the danger is over! Despite appearances, the Superiors of the SSPX have NEVER said they will not search for a future agreement with Modernist Rome. On the contrary, the doctrinal agreement is already done by the Doctrinal Declaration of April 15th, 2012, which has not been retracted by you; and on practical matters, the SSPX’s leaders are ready to join the Conciliar Church ANY TIME by voting the “Six Conditions” of July 17th, 2012. These two documents are still HIDDEN from the SSPX faithful because you refuse to publish them.
In the Doctrinal Declaration of April 15th, 2012, you accepted to surrender to the authority of the Conciliar “magisterium”; you adopted the “hermeneutics of continuity” of Benedict XVI by which you try to reconcile the errors of Vatican II with the “whole” Tradition; you said that collegiality is not a problem, and said the same concerning the heresies of ecumenism and religious liberty. Further, you were ready to sign the 1989 Profession of Faith originally drafted by Cardinal Ratzinger. You have also stated that the new sacraments and the New Mass are not only valid but much worse, they were “legitimately promulgated.” You agreed to accept the New Code of Canon Law. In synthesis, you gave in on ALL the main doctrinal points that the SSPX has always condemned in the Conciliar church.
We do NOT believe that "Vatican II belongs to Catholic Tradition" and we also do NOT believe and reject that "the teaching of Vatican II Council...enlightens....deepens and subsequently makes explicit...certain aspects of the life and doctrine of the Church", as you have stated in the aforementioned Declaration.
The so-called “Six Conditions” for joining Rome approved by the General Chapter in 2012 are utterly insufficient to protect the SSPX in her original mission, especially in not mentioning the only condition established by Abp. Lefebvre to collaborate with the Church authorities -- their CONVERSION to the Catholic Faith.
LIBERALISM WITHIN THE SSPX
That Liberalism has entered the Society is clearly demonstrable from the many public statements, conferences, interviews and retreats that you and other members of the SSPX have made. Elements of Liberalism that have crept into our local communities can be seen, among others, in the softening of the principles on Catholic modesty; the indiscriminate promotion of “natural family planning”and even the acceptance of abortive practices like "early delivery" of non-viable babies; the lack of encouragement to have large families; the promotion of non-Catholic literature in schools; the promotion of Masonic and Liberal principles, as is the case in the “philosophy” of STAC at Tynong, VIC; the adoption of secular curriculum for the schools; the hiring of non-Traditional and even non-Catholic teachers in the SSPX schools; affirming that Vatican II “is not that bad”; the “soft” commemoration last year of the 25th anniversary of the Episcopal Consecrations of 1988; and use of Ecclesia Dei Requiem Mass booklets at Hampton,VIC.
Everywhere we see Liberal-mindedness wanting to compromise clarity of language in order to “become more acceptable” to the Conciliar Church and ultimately to the world.
Leo XIII instructs the bishops on their grave duty of unmasking the enemies of the Church:
“…it is of the utmost importance to unmask and to drag into the light of day their secret machinations, so that Catholics, having their eyes opened to the real aims of these men, may feel their own courage redoubled, and may resolve openly and intrepidly to defend the Church, the Roman Pontiff, and their own salvation."
We are therefore at a loss to understand why the leadership of the SSPX, by a “Canonical agreement”, is willing to institute a “transfer of authority” to the influence of those against whom the Archbishop fought so mightily, and of which he said that “the Church was infiltrated by this Sect to the highest levels of the hierarchy even in Rome.”
With increasing concern, we also have witnessed the SSPX ruthlessly and methodically punishing or expelling from its ranks any member who has aligned himself with the late Archbishop Lefebvre’s mission to “Restore All Things in Christ.” It would seem that the house is being prepared to receive “new owners”… and everything needs to be arranged in accordance with this new taste. On the other hand, the Laity who oppose the change of direction are being denied the Sacraments. Those who remain will ultimately have to make the choice between supporting the “new direction,” remaining silent, or speaking out and being expelled.
SILENCE OF THE SSPX REGARDING ERRORS
We are aware that you have given specific instructions to the members of the SSPX to remain silent about the grave changes operated within the Society and not to communicate the same to the faithful; silent about the grave errors of its superiors, silent about their imprudent decisions, silent in condemning the Conciliar leaders like Pope Francis, etc. Such actions only serve to confirm that those priests who do speak out are on the right track.
This is what one of the priests you expelled, magnificently said:
“But there is a time when silence becomes gravely imprudent, and even cooperates with sin and darkness. From the SSPX pulpits, websites, magazines, articles etc., comes a shameful silence. A silence that uses the “liberty of prudence” as a cloak for malice, a silence equivalent to those passively standing by, while their mother is defiled and violently ravaged by the very ones vowed and ordained to defend Mother Church.” (Father Hewko’s Open Letter to the Superiors of the SSPX, 21st September 2013)
The SSPX must return to the path originally set for it by its Founder, namely firm resistance to the apostate authorities in Rome:
“Every Catholic can and must resist anyone in the Church who lays hands on his Faith, the Faith of the Eternal Church, upheld by his childhood Catechism. The defence of his Faith is the first duty of every Christian, more especially of every priest and bishop. Wherever an order carries with it the danger of corrupting Faith and morals, “disobedience” becomes a grave duty”. (Archbishop Lefebvre, Letter to Friends & Benefactors, no. 9, 1975)
Archbishop Lefebvre also said concerning the duty of denouncing those who imperil the Faith:
"A Catholic must not make ill-considered judgements on the faults and personal actions of his brethren, but Christ has commanded him to preserve his Faith, and how can he do this without casting a critical eye upon what he is given to read or to hear?" (An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Pg. 76)
Therefore, my Lord, what happened to the primacy of the Faith? What happened to “no agreement until Rome converts to Tradition”? What happened to Archbishop Lefebvre’s proof for the moment of Rome’s conversion, namely the professing of all the Papal teachings and condemnations from the Council of Trent down to Pius XII?
FINAL APPEAL TO THE SUPERIOR GENERAL
If we are “wrong” and have “misunderstood” the documents and the facts, we humbly ask for clarification as we have presented to you in this Open Letter of Appeal, following the advice of the Code of Canon Law: “The Laity has the right to receive from the Clergy the spiritual benefits and especially the necessary means of salvation, according to the rules of ecclesiastical discipline.” (Canon 682)
We are engaged in a final battle for souls between Our Lady and Satan; consequently due to the questionable activities of the SSPX highlighted in this Open Letter, we are duty bound to publicly denounce and resist any doctrinal deviations leading down the false path which is luring the Society into a spirit of sympathy towards “New Rome” and also into any possible future agreement with Modernist Rome, a move which would certainly endanger the salvation of souls. This is leading to the inevitable decrease in aversion to Vatican II; an increasing desire to give up the fight against the “Conciliar Church,” and thus falsely identify it as the Holy Catholic Church.
We obstinately refuse to go back to the Conciliar Church!
We repeat the motto of Saint Pius X: “Omnia instaurare in Christo”; and implore you as the Superior General of the SSPX to act as a true successor of Abp. Lefebvre, without shame or fear.
May the Immaculate Heart of Mary soon Triumph!
Yours faithfully In Christ and His Most Holy Mother,
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"Viva Cristo Rey!"