SSPX Correspondence


I sent Eleison Comments #598 to some SSPX priests, since it was addressed to them.

One of them [who is not my own priest], whom I highly esteem, responded with the following lines:

Dear Sean,
Blessed and Merry Christmas to you and your family.
It seems to me that His Excellency is locked into seeing what he sees – all that happens is seen in the light of where he has already decided things are at, and no evidence that things might be otherwise is accepted. I would venture, furthermore, that he has long had this tendency…
Of course His Excellency is convinced that any contact with Rome is, at the very least, delusionary. That is not his decision to make, however, and never has been; it is a prudential matter, and falls to the Superior General.
Beyond that, does His Excellency really think that priests of the Society are all about action, and have no concern for doctrine? Just because we don’t rail against the Novus Ordo every time we speak from the pulpit does not mean we no longer see the crisis for what it is, or that we have been silenced on this matter (and cowardly submitted)…[The priest then explained that he himself has not spoken any more or less about the crisis than he ever did; it was necessary to edit this part to preserve anonymity]. I did not, because it is all too easy to sit and be satisfied that one is Catholic in his thinking and his life just because he is not where he sees the Novus Ordo Church to be… while all the while he is sliding, sliding, sliding into a Protestant, Liberal way of life and thought. As priests our task is to help our people be Catholic, not merely help our people see that the Novus Ordo is not Catholic.
What does His Excellency look for from the Society superiors? Has he read any of the interviews of our current Superior General, with any real openness? Have you? Are you very much in the same boat as His Excellency: locked into a decided vision of things that will not allow the reality to penetrate? Haven’t you seen enough of the so-called Resistance to recognize that it is born of revolutionary principles that are in fact more Protestant than Catholic?

The following was my response to him [again slightly edited to preserve anonymity]:

Greetings Fr. Xxxxxxxx:
Thank you very much for your response; I was not sure that I would receive one, and am happy you took the time to share your thoughts with me in this matter.
Since I know you have no time to enter into a back and forth, I just wanted to see if you could clarify a couple comments you make in your final paragraph:

  1. You ask if I am “locked into a decided vision of things that will not allow the reality to penetrate?” May I ask what is this “reality” of which you speak? The only reality in the matter of relations with Rome that I am “locked into” is the same one Bishop Fellay made regarding Pope Francis in the April/May 2014 edition of La Rocher #88 (the bulletin of the Swiss District): Speaking of an agreement with Rome, Bishop Fellay responded, “Right now, that would be foolish.”
    In that case, it would have been foolish 2 years prior under BXVI, and is even more foolish today, as Francis’s animus dilendi toward Tradition is even more evident.
    So again, if you could clarify what precisely you believe is the “reality” which is “not penetrating,” it would help me.
    For my part, so far as I can tell, my “vision” of things is precisely that of Archbishop Lefebvre’s, when he said: ‘We must absolutely convince our faithful that it is no more than a maneuver, that it is dangerous to put oneself into the hands of Conciliar bishops and Modernist Rome. It is the greatest danger threatening our people! If we have struggled for twenty years to avoid the Conciliar errors, it was not in order, now, to put ourselves in the hands of those professing these errors.’ (Fideliter, July/August, 1989).
  1. “Haven’t you seen enough of the so-called Resistance to recognize that it is born of revolutionary principles that are in fact more Protestant than Catholic?”
    Who is the revolutionary: The one who fights to preserve the existing order of things, or the ones who work for its overthrow, and overturn that order?
    If I have held to the vision of Archbishop Lefebvre quoted above, but the superiors of the Society have departed from that vision, in favor of its opposite (i.e., striving by all opposite means to convince the clergy and faithful that it is good and even necessary to put oneself into the hands of the modernists), then which of those two positions is the revolutionary one?
    Certainly, I understand that circumstances could alter Archbishop Lefebvre’s prudential precondition (i.e., doctrinal agreement before juridical agreement), but as Bishop de Galarreta observed at Albano in 2011 (and contrary to Bishop Fellay’s comments in the Cor Unum in 2012/2013), there has been no change in Rome which could justify the SSPX moving away from Archbishop Lefebvre’s position. In fact, every sane and honest man would see that in 2019, conditions have so deteriorated in Rome (and Rome become even more hostile towards Tradition since that time) that it would be insanity to not see the rank imprudence (and damage to souls and the quality of faith) which will follow upon an agreement.
    Conditions today make Archbishop Lefebvre’s warning quoted above all the more pertinent today then when he made it in 1989.
    Neither can one pretend that the conditions of the personal prelature will insulate the SSPX from the corrupting influence of modernism: The SSPX will still be dependent upon the diocesan bishops to erect chapels, schools, priories, etc. (and of course anyone with business sense like yourself knows these approvals all come with a price).
    Already, the SSPX is promoting the modernist book of Fr. Robinson; a public evolutionist (Mr. Todd Kunkel) is professor at St. Mary’s College; many of the faithful are married by diocesan clergy, to whom they feel no repugnance (contrary to the Marriage Form I signed, which acknowledged my right to receive the sacraments in a fully traditional way, and not by a priest who celebrates the new Mass; etc.).
    No, I think I am neither delusional nor revolutionary (regardless of however applicable this may be in [some respects to] the case of Bishop Williamson).
    Out of respect for you, I would be most interested to read your response to these thoughts, and will not pester you again with a follow-up response (i.e., I really would like to know how you would respond to these thoughts, and will certainly consider whatever you may write, and promise you will have the last word if you do respond).
    God bless you, Fr. Xxxxxxxx
    Semper Idem,
    Sean Johnson

Today, it will be four weeks since I sent this email, and I have not yet received a response.