22 March 2012

A Beautiful Exhortation to the SSPX

I haven't written much about, well, anything, really -- but in particular I have left the discussion of recent SSPX/Rome developments to other, more knowledgeable sites.

One of those sites, Rorate Caeli, recently published a letter of the well-known priest Fr. Nicola Bux to Bishop Fellay and all the priests of the SSPX.  I thought it was a very moving plea, and wanted to share it here.  It lays out the crux of the problem, and of the solution, very nicely.  

Of course the Church is in a mess, but waiting for every priest, prelate and layman to get their act together before accepting canonical recognition is not the answer.  All that is required is that the Society be allowed to function without threat from the pushers of heterodoxy -- then it can join in the effort to defeat that heterodoxy from a place of unquestionable legitimacy, removing a shadow (deserved or not) that damages its efforts.  The time has come.  More than come:

To His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay, and to the Priests of the Society of Saint Pius X

Your Excellency,
Most dear Brothers,

Christian brotherhood is stronger than flesh and blood because it offers us, thanks to the divine Eucharist, a foretaste of heaven.

Christ invited us to experience communion, this is what our "I" is made of. Communion means loving one's neighbor a priori, because we have the one Savior in common with him. Based on this fact, communion is ready for every sacrifice in the name of unity; and this unity must be visible, as the last petition addressed by Our Lord to his Father teaches us - "ut unum sint, ut credat mundus" -, because this is the decisive testimony of Christ's friends.

It is undeniable that numerous facts of Vatican II and of the period that followed it, related to the human dimension of this event, have represented true calamities and have caused intense pain to many great Churchmen. But God does not allow His Holy Church to reach self-destruction.

We cannot consider the severity of the human factor without having confidence in the divine factor, that is to say, in Providence, who guides history and, in particular, the history of the Church, while respecting human freedom.

The Church is at once a divine institution, divinely protected, and a product of men. Her divine aspect does not deny her human one - personality and freedom - and does not necessarily hinder it; her human aspect, while remaining whole and even compromising, never denies her divine one.

For reasons of Faith, but also due to the confirmations, albeit slow ones, that we are able observe at the historical level, we believe that God has prepared and continues to prepare, throughout these years, men who are worthy of rectifying the errors and the ommissions we all deplore. Holy works already exist, and will appear in still greater numbers, that are isolated ones from the others but that a divine strategy links at a distance and whose actions add up to a well-ordered design, as it miraculously happened at the time of the painful Lutheran rebellion.

These divine interventions seem to grow in proportion to the complexity of the facts. The future will make it clear, as we are convinced, and it seems dawn is almost at hand.

During some moments, the uncertain dawn struggles with darkness, which fades slowly, but when it appears we know that the sun is there, and that it will invariably pursue its course in the heavens.

With Saint Catherine of Siena, we wish to say: "Come to Rome in complete safety," next to the house of the common Father who was given to us as the visible and perpetual principle and foundation of Catholic unity.

Come take part in this blessed future in which we can already foresee dawn, despite the persistent darkness. Your refusal would increase darkness, not light. And yet the sparks of light we can already admire are numerous, beginning with those of the great liturgical restoration effected by the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum". It stirs up, throughout the whole world, a large movement of adherence from all those who wish to increase the worship of God, particularly the young.

How to ignore the other concrete gestures, full of meaning, of the Holy Father, such as the lifting of the excommunications of the bishops ordained by Abp. Lefebvre, the opening of a public debate on the interpretation of Vatican II in light of Tradition, and, for this purpose, the renewal of the Ecclesia Dei Commission?

Perplexities certainly remain, points to be deepened or detailed, as those regarding ecumenism and interreligious dialogue (which has been, for that matter, already the object of an important clarification given by the declaration Dominus Iesus, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of August 6, 2000), or regarding the way in which religious liberty is to be understood.

Also on these matters, your canonically assured presence within the Church will help bring more light.

How not to think of the contribution you could give to the welfare of the whole Church, thanks to your pastoral and doctrinal resources, your capabilities and your sensibility?

This is the appropriate moment, the favorable time to come. Timete Dominum transeuntem: let not the occasion of grace the Lord offers you pass by, let it not pass by your side without recognizing it.

Will the Lord grant another one? Will not we all one day appear before His Court and answer not only for the evil we have done, but above all for the good we might have accomplished but did not?

The Holy Father's heart trembles: he awaits you anxiously because he loves you, because the Church needs you for a common profession of faith before a world that is each day more secularized and that seems to turn its back to its Creator and Savior hopelessly.

In the full ecclesial communion with the great family that is the Catholic Church, your voice will no longer be stifled, your contribution will be neither ignorable nor ignored, but will be able to bring forth, with that of so many others, abundant fruits which would otherwise go to waste.

The Immaculate teaches us that too many graces are lost because they are not asked for; we are convinced that, by answering the offer of the Holy Father favorably, the Society of Saint Pius X will become an instrument to enkindle new rays from the fingers of our Heavenly Mother.

On this day dedicated to him, may Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patron of the Universal Church, inspire and sustain your resolutions: "Come to Rome in all safety".

Rome, March 19, 2012.
Feast of Saint Joseph

d. Nicola Bux


Anonymous said...

I am glad you posted this Timman. It is a heartfelt letter for unity that everyone close to Traditional Catholicism ultimately desires. It is good however that one read both sides of the historical record for full fidelity, a taste of which can be found in His Grace Bishop Williamson's letter available in a thread here: http://angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=41410.


Long-Skirts said...

Fr. Bux said:

"...communion is ready for every sacrifice in the name of unity"

I'm sure Fr. Bux means well but he is terribly misguided for "communion" should be ready for EVERY sacrifice in the name of Our Lord and the Truth, not unity!


The Truth is
Daily in our face
Good priests defrocked
The queers disgrace

The Truth is
Daily ‘fore our eyes
The world wide web
Exposes lies

The Truth is
Daily on You/Tube
New Masses
Grease your soul and lube

The Truth is
Daily front and center
Unless approved
We will not enter

The Truth is
Daily past, now, future --
St. Pius the Tenth
Christ’s sufficient suture!

Anonymous said...


New Haven, MO

The Viking said...

@ Longskirts

Well done!

Rory said...

Rome needs to accept Vatican II for what the popes have taught and repeatedly said about it.

It isn't the Society who has a problem with what popes have said about Vatican II. Ironically, it is Rome that doesn't like it! Rome wants to act like it was infallible while denying it in word. Sorry...No pope since Paul VI to our current Holy Father have said otherwise than what the SSPX says about Vatican Council II. If the pope said Nicea or Trent or one of the Laterans were pastoral and doctrinally fallible, who that is Catholic would argue about it? But when it comes to Vatican II, only so-called schismatics take the popes at their word! Some of us believe the popes:

Today we are concluding the Second Vatican Council. [...] But one thing must be noted here, namely, that the teaching authority of the Church, even though not wishing to issue extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements, has made thoroughly known its authoritative teaching on a number of questions which today weigh upon man’s conscience and activity...(Address during the last general meeting of the Second Vatican Council, December 7, 1965; AAS 58)

“There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” (General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L’Osservatore Romano 1/21/1966)

“Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolates Vatican II and which provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it, which give the impression that from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II. […] The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council.” (Address to the Chilean Episcopal Conference, Il Sabato 1988)

When Rome accepts what Rome says instead of what Rome pretends, about Vatican II, they will be on the same page with Tradition. The SSPX abandons neither the popes before or after Vatican II. The SSPX insists that post-Vatican II popes are correct about Vatican II, when they do speak forthcomingly about it, even if they deny what they say in practice.

Rory McKenzie

Rory said...

Fr. Bux writes:

In the full ecclesial communion with the great family that is the Catholic Church, your voice will no longer be stifled, your contribution will be neither ignorable nor ignored, but will be able to bring forth, with that of so many others, abundant fruits which would otherwise go to waste.

"The Immaculate teaches us that too many graces are lost because they are not asked for; we are convinced that, by answering the offer of the Holy Father favorably, the Society of Saint Pius X will become an instrument to enkindle new rays from the fingers of our Heavenly Mother."

But what is the "offer of the Holy Father". No one knows. Cardinal Levada seems to indicate that since the excommunications were lifted and the Motu Proprio was given, now it is time for the SSPX to do something dramatic in the way of concession. But on what? Vatican II? An announcement that Abp. LeFebvre was wrong for what he did? I'll bet one Novus Ordo Mass would do the trick.

It cannot happen. The truth is non-negotiable. The SSPX holds that there is an emergency because a valid rite of the Church is defective even when celebrated reverently in the original language. Too much sacramental theology is stripped. It seems the Society must "accept" Vatican II. Accept what? It is a fact that it happened. Sure. If being regularized means signing something not true, it wouldn't seem like it is the right time to be regularized.

When Rome comes to her senses the Society will be welcomed unconditionally. Until that happens I pray that the Society will continue to exercise her mission in the world. If the conditions for regularization are fulfilled by compromising one article of truth, if it means pretending that the new liturgies are more than merely valid, the state of emergency would still be here, but incomparably worse. The faithful would have no voice ringing out against the enemies of the faith in sheep's clothing who have nearly suffocated Tradition from Holy Mother Church.