The Recusant

An unofficial SSPX newsletter, fighting a guerilla war for the soul of Tradition!


Fr. Raphael Arizaga, OSB

I declare that I am a servant of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Most Holy Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, and of the father of Our Lord, St. Joseph, and that I desire to live and die for love of Him. Moved by this attitude I am writing this public declaration in order to make clear the reasons for my actions, actions in which I do not believe I have been moved by rebellion or personal interest or anything else other than love of doctrine and charity.

The motive for my actions has been the words of Garrigou Lagrange: 

"The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not beleive; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love."

The Catholic principles which we have received from Abp. Lefebvre are the motor, the heart, the raison d'etre of the SSPX, the greatest treasure which we have inherited from him, and through which we have received the Catholic religion in all its force and integrity. Love of this doctrine has led me to trust in a special way the teaching of Bp. Williamson. His advice wisely guided me to continue in my beloved monastery of Silver City and foster a monastic life of fidelity, knowing that this is the best way of serving the Church in the sublime Benedictine vocation. Intolerance regarding principles necessarily moved me to lean on Bishop Williamson, while tolerance in charity led me to continue in my beloved monastery. Unfortunately, my superiors have decided that this way of living is not possible. On Sunday 24th February, the doors of my monastery were closed to me, to my great surprise. My crime? Following Bishop Williamson. I do not wish to attack my monastery, nor my spiritual father Dom Cyprian; they are not modernists; their intention is to give everything to God and to be holy, and their generosity is beyond question. The problem rather lies in a failure to grasp what the greatness of doctrine means: the priority of doctrine above everything else. Doctrine which is foud solidly grounded in Bp. Williamson, especially though not uniquely. This has been demonstrated by the fact that his teaching and his Eleison Comments have never ben refuted. This love of doctrine means that the condemnation of Bp. Williamson also falls upon me: I have been his friend and his son, that was my sin. My search for wisdom through spiritual direction, with no desire to leave my monastery, only to be confirmed in the faith and to continue my defense of the faith as a soldier of Jesus Christ ought, in order thus to better help the monastery, this was the cause of my expulsion.

Charity requires me not to condemn either the SSPX or the monastery of Silver City, only God can judge, I forgive all the injustice perpatrated against me. At the same time, I beg forgiveness of all those whom I have offended, especially Dom. Cyprian, whom I shall never cease loving and for whom I continue to pray specially, hoping that Divine Providence reunites us again. I declare myself to be the enemy of nobody. I merely declare that I am intolerant of sin, and an enemy of liberal doctrine, sin against the First Commandment, since liberalism is a blasphemy in practice, which without doubt has infiltrated into various parts of the SSPX.

In charity for my poor soul, please implore the infinite mercy of God, and to all of you, my brothers in the Faith, I appeal to your fraternal charity to pray a great deal for your poor servant. 

With the help of God we will soon open a new monastery, and from now on I am asking for your help. We will receive all Catholics who are intolerant in doctrine but tolerant in charity.

Yours forever in Our Holy Father St. Joseph,

Fr. Raphael Arizaga, OSB