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Thursday, May 19, 2016

The FSSP harbors aggressive resentment towards the SSPX

Here, on the eve of a possible reconciliation with Rome, May 2016, at this moment, it can still be said that the FSSP inherently and demonstrably harbors an aggressive, if not passive-aggressive resentment towards the Society of Saint Pius X.  

Tonight, I will take a better look at how the Fraternity has treated the Society, ever since it's creation in 1988.

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter

First-hand Observations

I am not a strict adherent to the SSPX.  Nor the FSSP.  Nor diocesan Tridentine Latin Masses.  I'm unsure if I have any skin in the game when it comes to defending or attacking either of these groups.  I've attended them all, I will continue to use each of them interchangeably, and I have no problem with that.

So when I come along and state that the FSSP harbors aggressive resentment towards the SSPX, know that I say this having indifferently sampled the entire platter.

Furthermore, I like the FSSP.  I like going to Mass at their chapels.  I like listening to Fraternity priest sermons on Youtube.  I cherish, what appears to be, their devotion to strong morals and Tradition.

However, the FSSP--at its core--does not like what the SSPX does.  They do not like it when you go to SSPX chapels.  They do not like you listening to Society priest sermons.  And they think that trusting the SSPX's devotion to morals and Tradition is misplaced.

Father Chad Ripperger, formerly of the FSSP, has told me outright and in person that priests in the Society are committing a mortal sin when they hold a Mass.  I have heard this with my own ears, thus I, Laramie Hirsch, am an original source for this information.  Furthermore, according to Fr. Ripperger, if you as a parishioner are attending an SSPX Mass, you are contributing to that priest's mortal sin, and you are complicit in that priest's sin.  Indeed, Fr. Ripperger states that every single time a consecration of the Eucharist is performed 'outside of the Church,' it gravely offends God.  His words, not mine.  Though he is now an exorcist for the diocese of Tulsa, Chad Ripperger's previous membership in the Fraternity is without dispute.

If you think that I am making an assertion with no evidence, then follow the hyperlink in the previous paragraph.  It will take you to an EWTN page, containing seven minutes of Father Chad Ripperger stating this FSSP-brand opinion.

Second-Hand Observations

To be sure, there are plenty of vague accounts of FSSP aggression out there in Internet Land.  These second-hand accounts are the weakest evidence in this presentation.  But there is such a great amount of observation among laity that the culminating volume of the accounts, surely one would think, ought to count for something.

Many people will argue that FSSP tends to set up shop around SSPX chapels, in the hopes of draining members from the latter.  So states Michelle, straight from CMTV's comment box.  (Ironically enough, ChurchMilitantTV was running an article titled SSPX Poachers, claiming the reverse was occurring.)
I don't know. My experience is contrary to this article. For many years I would only attend SSPX chapels to near exclusivity. Where the SSPX was thriving, THEN the ICKSP or FSSP came in, As an answer to the SSPX entry into the diocese. During my last foray into the SSPX before I was slapped into reality thanks to a dear friend -- was in Milwaukee. It is abysmal there. Weakland and then Dolan were head of the Diocese. Those that love God and wished to serve Him were obviously very attracted to the SSPX chapel in Mukwonago. It wasn't until about 4 years ago -decades after the SSPX came to town finally ICKSP came, St. Stanislaus off Historic Mitchell Rd. Last time I was at the diocesan TLM offered by the ICKSP they have a vibrant, beautiful, growing community. It is truly lovely to see after the near annihilation of the Faith in that city.
Frankly, I'm amazed that CMTV didn't scrub her comment.  Perhaps they will, once they take a gander at the fact that I feature her opinion here.  I imagine that CMTV kept up her comment because, although she was contradicting their article, she ultimately favored the diocese over the Society by the end of her comment.

The Fraternity was set up quickly within the Catholic Church in order to respond to the SSPX's very existence.  No religious order is set up so rapidly in the same way as the FSSP.  It was clearly an emergency measure to counter the Society.  An aggressive emergency measure.  The Society was an invading foreign body to the Conciliar Catholic Church, and so, therefore, the Vatican sent out its very special leukocytes, the priests of the FSSP.

However, enough of these third-party observations.  Time to cut to the chase.

Testimony From the Victim

When there is a bully and a victim, usually the victim is the only one who knows what is happening to them.  It is rare and difficult for outsiders to be able to witness the bullying that takes place. For this reason, many people are bullied for a very long time, and nothing is ever done about it, and no one will believe them.  Another great example is workplace harassment.  Often, at a job, an individual can be harassed either directly or indirectly--for years--without a single co-worker noticing the phenomenon.

This is life.  This is how it has always been with people.  And this is the case with the SSPX.  They have many bullies, but today, I am focusing on the institution that is the FSSP.

Last week, my colleague, Heinrich, argued that he's never seen the FSSP being a bully to the SSPX.  Never heard of it.  Never even read about any such bullying in the FSSP publications!
I have attended FSSP Masses for over tens years now. Met many priests. Read their publications. Never, ever have I heard them say what you allege.
Okay, Heinrich.  Just as you've never read a bad thing coming out of the FSSP, neither do we read any letters or books about how Pope Francis wants to transform the Catholic Church into a liberal if-it-makes-you-feel-good-do-it Church, drenched in Marxism, and quite open to various sexual sins-that-are-no-longer-sins.  And in spite of the fact that Pope Francis doesn't outright say or publish his intention, a great amount of Catholics have taken notice that is exactly what Pope Francis has been doing this entire time.  He may waffle and speak in such a confusing way, as to throw out our ability to rely upon him for anything solid whatsoever.  Yet, we can see his fruits and the company he keeps, and we Traditionalists come to our mutual conclusions about him.  

Imagine someone coming along and saying: I've been going to Novus Ordo Church for ten years, and I've met many priests.  I read Vatican publications.  Never have I heard them state that Pope Francis favors Liberation Theology Marxism!  Yet, you've seen otherwise.  You consider such a man to be a Pollyanna.  You've been the butt of antagonism, and you've gotten the crap end of the stick for noting your observations publicly.  But Mr. Pollyanna never noticed this happening to you, so he's indifferent to what you endure.  

Well, it's hard to be indifferent when you're the victim.  And the SSPX is definitely not indifferent to the historical treatment it's received from the FSSP.  The Society of Saint Pius X has something to say about the Fraternity of St. Peter.  

Now, the FSSP will broadly claim to have been founded "in response to the Holy Father's call to ecclesial unity and the new evangelization."  As of today, that is the only historical detail you'll find on the FSSP homepage.  

The Society, however, has a bit more to say about how their antagonist came to be founded:
Since the introduction of the new sacramental rites, Rome had allowed no religious society or congregation exclusive use of the older rites. Then on June 30, 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops to ensure the survival of the traditional priesthood and sacraments, and especially of the traditional Latin Mass.
Suddenly, within two days, Pope John Paul II recognized (Ecclesia Dei Afflicta, July 2, 1988) the “rightful aspirations” (for these things) of those who wouldn’t support Archbishop Lefebvre’s stance, and offered to give to them what he had always refused the Archbishop. A dozen or so priests of the SSPX accepted this“good will” and broke away to found the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).
Indeed, the narrative is a bit different when you talk to someone on the receiving end.  Looks like the FSSP left a bit out of the narrative.  

Some harsh words have been uttered by the FSSP against the SSPX.  When one priest or bishop is stating that Society priests are either schismatic or not even Catholic--that is harsh.  Especially considering that large chunks of the current Church hierarchy are changing their tone and even apologizing for stepping on the Society's toes.  The Society has always been Catholic.  They have always been in the right.  They are in this position because from the very beginning, Archbishop Lefebvre and his Society has been shafted.  They and their Masses have always been valid.

To deny these facts is a harsh insult to men who have given their lives to the priesthood.  But these insults have sprung forth, nonetheless.  To understand how FSSP priests and leadership can issue such insults, consider the ideals they were built upon:
The Fraternity of St. Peter is founded upon more than questionable principles, for the following reasons:

1. It accepts that the Conciliar Church has the power:

  • to take away the Mass of all time (for the Novus Ordo Missae is not another form of this)
  • to grant it to those only who accept the same Conciliar Church’s novel orientations (in life, belief, structures)
  • to declare non-Catholic those who deny this by word or deed (An interpretation of "Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism [of Archbishop Lefebvre] is a grave offense against God and carries the penalty of excommunication." Ecclesia Dei Afflicata)
  • to professes itself in a certain way in communion with anyone calling himself “Christian,” and yet to declare itself out of communion with Catholics whose sole crime is wanting to remain Catholic (Vatican II, e.g., Lumen Gentium, §15;Unitatis Redintegratio §3).
2. In practice, the priests of the Fraternity, having recourse to a Novus Ordo bishop willing to permit the traditional rites and willing to ordain their candidates, they are forced to abandon the fight against the new religion which is being installed:
  • they reject the Novus Ordo Missae only because it is not their“spirituality” and claim the traditional Latin Mass only in virtue of their “charism” acknowledged them by the pope,
  • they seek to ingratiate themselves with the local bishops, praising them for the least sign of Catholic spirit and keeping quiet on their modernist deviations (unless perhaps it is a question of a diocese where they have no hopes of starting up), even though by doing so they end up encouraging them along their wrong path, and
  • note, for example, the Fraternity’s whole-hearted acceptance of the (New) Catechism of the Catholic Church, acceptance of Novus Ordo professors in their seminaries, and blanket acceptance of Vatican II’s orthodoxy).
This is the nature of the FSSP, according to the SSPX.  The Society accuses them of "playing Traditionalist," so to speak, and in so doing, their sincerity rings hollow.  While, perhaps, the Fraternity may publicly appear to we waiting for the Society with outstretched arms, the reality is that the very foundation of the Fraternity is shallow, and therefore, it is easy for elements within the Fraternity to justify their aggressive and passive-aggressive insults of the Society.

Let's now observe some straight up aggression on the part of the FSSP.

Fr. Gouyaud, in a coference to seminarians before Christmas vacation, 1991: To participate at a Mass said by an SSPX priest is an abomination, because that is to take part in the destruction of the Mystical Body - which is schism.

According to Frs. Bisig and Baumann: To participate at a Mass of the SSPX for a seminarian is an adherence to the schism, and for the faithful as well, if this participation is habitual.  So that's nice to know.  Someone better get out there and inform all of the Traditional Catholics that they're guilty of schism.  Because clearly these FSSP superiors are referring to the SSPX as schismatic.  The Society takes this evidence (and more), and the SSPX concludes:
that the majority of members in the Fraternity of St. Peter reject the famous declaration of 1974 as a clearly schismatic tendency. Many are convinced that the refusal to submit to the suspensio a divinis is equally schismatic, while others think that the categoric refusal of the Novus Ordo Missae was the beginning of the "rupture with the Church."
The FSSP thinks that the Society is ruptured with the Church. The Fraternity is not talking about a teammate. They are talking about an antagonist and a divider.  This is ironic, considering that it has been the FSSP (as well as, of course, the Conciliar Church) who has acted as the clear antagonist towards Church Tradition, dividing Traditionalists from themselves.
"The problem with the Society of St. Pius X is the consecrations. We left because of the consecrations."  - Frs. Bisig, Baumann, Coiffet and Gouyaud to the faithful of the Fraternity of St. Peter.
You must clearly understand that the initial error of the Society of St. Pius X is not the consecration, but a schismatic attitude - to want to judge the Church (i.e. the ordinary Magisterium) which has been there from early on. The sin is one of arrogance, of a lack of humility, of elitism and Sectarianism." - Fr. Baumann to seminarians 1992-1993
The consecrations did nothing but make a schismatic situation evident, which in actuality already had existed for a long time. It would, therefore, be profoundly erroneous to see in the Fraternity of St. Peter, a continuation of the work of Archbishop Lefebvre, since this work was fundamentally bad. -Fr. Gouyaud, then rector 1991-92
We, former members of [Society of] St. Pius X, we were greatly relieved by the agreement of 1988, of which the Fraternity of St. Peter is benefiting from, for while with St. Pius X, we never knew if we were within the Church or schismatics. -Fr. McCready, then 3rd year in a video cassette, Fraternity of St. Peter, largely circulated in the USA
Betrayal, claims of being schismatic, claiming that the Society exercises arrogance and elitism, and denouncing their work as "fundamentally bad" ...what is not aggressive and resentful about this kind of terminology?  This is not the language of friendship and collegiality.  This is the language of a competitor.

Consider that Fr. Herve Hygonnet, District Superior of the Fraternity of St. Peter for Belgium, circulated a letter in 2011 among the faithful after an Assisi ecumenical meeting.  He accuses Archbishop Lefebvre's priestly society of taking itself for "the Pope's censor," stated that it was led by a "non-Catholic spirit" and "infected with a virus." He accuses the SSPX of being in "a grave error," and that the Society is "usurping the Supreme Magisterium."

I said earlier that a victim of bullying is usually the only one who notices what is happening to them.  Therefore, it can be safe to say that the party who has the most evidence--the most experience--of being persecuted, is...the victim.  I am sure that the Society has plenty to say about its persecutors, and yet, it has not revealed every jot and tittle of insult that it's had to deal with.  However, returning to the expose, Sancte Petre...Quo vadis? Quid facis?, the SSPX has this tidbit of testimony to share about the FSSP:
We notice that for the Archbishop, a certain contempt, even a veritable hatred is permitted and sometimes even encouraged among seminarians. A number of them, not caring about their former superior, offered the opinion that the venerable prelate would certainly be in hell!
Often, when bullied, it is only the person bullied who sees what is going on. Outsiders often don't recognize any problems at all.  I'm willing to bet that there are parties out there who would deny having ever heard of these accusations being leveled at Archbishop Lefebvre.

Here is more bluster from Fr. Baumann:
Archbishop Lefebvre died excommunicated and schismatic - the judgment of the Church is certain. I pray for him, but I must insist on the gravity of his acts - even before 1988. In any case, a public Requiem Mass cannot be celebrated for such a person. Of course, a private Mass could be said even for the intention of Judas Iscariot or for Nero, and such a Mass could be said for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Lefebvre.
Sounds familiar.  I remember equating the rabble rousing Fr. Cekada, sedevacantist priest, with Judas and Martin Luther.  To this day, I still consider the comparison apt.  But I promise, I didn't steal that one from Fr. Baumann.

Father continues:
You know, heretics and schismatics were often good men, seen as St.ly men, but who sinned by arrogance and pride, preferring their own ideas and opinions to those of the Church. That is, by the way, the original sin of the Society of St. Pius X. 
Another character in this drama is an FSSP priest by the name of Fr. Bisig.  According to the SSPX, on several occasions, Fr. Bisig claimed to "know" that Archbishop Lefebvre was a sedevacantist, and that he was hostile from the beginning in negotiations with Cardinal Ratzinger.  The SSPX further testifies that Frs. Bisg and Baumann have said the FSSP is NOT a continuation of Archbishop Lefebvre's work, "and does not exist merely to preserve Tradition, but only exists to give a greater liturgical wealth (according to the wishes of Cardinal Ratzinger's) and to sanctify its members, who feel a subjective need for 'these ancient forms of piety'."

How quaint.  Traditional Catholicism is just one of many treasures that some laity and clergy, apparently, seem to need for whatever reason.  How kind of the Conciliar Church to provide us with the FSSP.

Returning to the idea that the Fraternity's main purpose is primarily to drain the faithful out of the ranks of the Society, the SSPX has also noticed this tendency:
In fact, Rome only seems to see the Fraternity as a means of weakening the work of Archbishop Lefebvre. Fr. Bisig stated more than once that, to Rome (to Cardinal Ratzinger in particular), one finds the continuation of the Fraternity opportune in its goal of recuperation; and that Cardinal Innocenti has asked several times on the reason for the lack numbers of "Arrests, seminarians and faithful resuming from the Society of St. Pius X to the Church." In 1992-1993, not one seminarian entering the seminary that year could be said to be'returning to the Church' from the Society of St. Pius X - neither among the seminarians, nor among the priests formally incarnated into Wigratzbad. Neither were the faithful deserting or "coming back?" from the Society of St. Pius X.
The Superior General willingly accepts such reasons for the existence of his Fraternity. He recently congratulated himself in having brought back a group of traditionalists in Rapid City (USA). He praised Fr. Irwin for his practical approach and his tact in his contacts with "these old schismatics." Jokingly, he told of how he was invited by the faithful, who would show him with pride the photos of their weddings, blessed by priests of the Society of St. Pius X and how he couldn't find the courage to explain to them that "these marriages were invalid."

How sad.  Those poor un-married people.  Clearly, the FSSP holds themselves superior to the SSPX--even if they've sold out in 1988, they've become so much better than that collection of wackos at the Society.  The FSSP, apparently, does not hold the Traditional Latin Mass, the Mass of the Ages, in a high enough regard as to claim it's utter supremacy and necessity as the only--and most universal--form of worship.  No.  For the Fraternity, the TLM is a quaint little gem--one treasure among many--that serves to enrich the Church.

In this regard, the FSSP has been duplicitous.  Consider the duplicity of FSSP leadership.  Blatantly stated, a desire for offering both the TLM and the Novus Ordo form of the Mass can be found within the structure of the FSSP.  But, as the SSPX states:
[T]he practice of the Novus Ordo and bi-ritualism remains forbidden in the Fraternity. Why? Not for objective or doctrinal reasons but for pragmatism. Fr. Bisig explained his conviction that on the practical side of things, bi-ritualism would be harmful as regards the survival of the Fraternity.
With this kind of behavior coming out of the FSSP, with this aggression that is tossed willy nilly at the SSPX, and with this duplicitous "loyalty" to the Mass of the Ages,
The only existing unity can be summed up as a sort of false charity resembling the spirit of ecumenism, where all differences, even illegitimate ones, as long as they are favorable to left wing, are tolerated. Such a charity is phony, of course, and it is as well - one of the reasons why the atmosphere there is extremely unhealthy and the spiritual life impossible. The discipline is dying, since the rector supports the most liberal wing. The liturgy, despised, always comes in last place. A worldly spirit prevails there, vulgarity is the rule (the overly familiar "tu" instead of "vous" as a form of address, for example); rudeness and indecent stories are, alas, all too common!

The victim knows the bully and his tendencies.  He knows the nature of the beast.  And knowing the personality of their persecutor, it is not hard for the Society to come to its conclusion:
Having read this letter, we are both consoled and saddened. Consoled that many were right in saying that the Fraternity of St. Peter was a "dead end" at the best, betrayal and cowardice at the worst. Saddened at the plight they have put themselves in. Today the Fraternity of St. Peter goes to Rome. Yet, like their patron, they will go to their death. Today's Rome is a merciless, a New Rome, with a new theology. To go naively to this New Rome, is to flee the Catholic Rome of old and the Faith. The Society of St. Pius X flees this New Rome in order to preserve the Faith of Peter. The Eternal Rome or the New Rome?
Testimony From Witnesses

There exists even further evidence that the FSSP harbors an aggressive resentment towards the SSPX.  If we browse the archives of Latin Mass Magazine, we will discover that in 2002, Christopher Ferrara beheld "some of the ugly" being launched at the Society by the FSSP.

Apparently, in the French FSSP Journal, Tu es Petrus, there is an article titled: "Can One Assist at Mass and Receive the Sacraments from a Priest of the Society of Saint Pius X?"  I do believe it's available for downloading, though, it's likely in French.  This article was written by Father Hugues de Montjoye.  It's pretty bad.  Ferrara, as usual, does a very nice summary of the FSSP drive-by sliming:
Unlike Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos or Monsignor Perl, Father de Montjoye unhesitatingly declares that all the priests as well as the bishops of the SSPX are both excommunicated and schismatic—a sentence the Vatican has never pronounced. Father de Montjoye further opines that SSPX clerics, both bishops and priests, are not even Catholics. He even goes so far as to claim that reception of Communion from an SSPX priest does violence to the sacrament, injures the Church, and transgresses divine law:
  • [T]o receive the sacraments from a non-Catholic minister—which is to say, one who is not in full communion with the Church, which is the case with the Society of Saint Pius X—is an injury to the Church, an offense to God and to the plan he [sic] established in the world.
  • To communicate [receive Holy Communion] at a Mass celebrated by a schismatic priest, outside of the extreme cases where the Church authorizes it, is to do violence to the sacrament.…
  • A non-Catholic minister does violence to the sacrament of the Eucharist in consecrating outside the communion of the Church…. They [our ancestors] were in horror of receiving communion from the hand of a schismatic.
  • [T]o receive the sacraments from non-Catholic ministers (which is the case with priests attached to the Society of Saint Pius X) it is necessary to fulfill the conditions fixed by the supreme authority and specified in the Code of Canon Law…
  • Note well that the enunciated conditions for exceptional cases where one can receive sacraments administered by non-Catholic ministers are cumulative conditions….
  • To accept a certain indifferentism and to communicate [receive Communion] from a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X thus places us in rebellion against divine law.
So, here we have a FSSP priest in France stating that SSPX priests and bishops are excommunicated, schismatic, and non-Catholic.  Is this supposed to be what "nice" looks like?  Is this what friendly brethren in Christ do for one another?  If there is no real difference between the SSPX and the FSSP, then why is it that the Fraternity is claiming that laity receiving the Eucharist from a priest of the former is going against the Law of God?

And, returning to the duplicitous nature of the FSSP, Latin Mass Magazine even published this 1999 article, titled The Semi-Traditionalists, by Thomas E. Woods Jr.  In it, we can witness discussions between the FSSP between softies who are very interested in concelebrating the Mass--using Latin as well as the Novus Ordo.  Fr. Bisig reappears in this article for us, showing his indifference support for some kind of a transition for FSSP priests.

Now, if the FSSP had sold out so hard on their principles as early as 1988, just how hard do you think it is for them to compromise on other ideals?  Most of all, if the FSSP demonstrates its weakness in upholding a TLM-only fraternity, and they show themselves to cave in to modernist novelties, is it not inconceivable that animosity towards the SSPX--the real deal that can deliver--is bound to eventually flourish within their fraternity?

Testimony From the Bully

Let's now take a look at what comes directly out of the FSSP and its allies.

Firstly, without argument, this is published on the Fraternity's webpage: Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei" of Pope John-Paul II.  In this document, we can read that Pope John Paul II considered the ordinations of bishops within the SSPX to be schismatic and disobedient.  And yet, in a 2009 letter, we read that Pope Benedict XVI has recognized that the Society is not in schism, and that consecrating bishops without a papal mandate is not a schismatic act.  It raises the danger of schism, but it is not in and of itself schismatic.  And need I remind readers in this audience that the excommunications of those bishops was remitted?

This 2009 letter by Pope Benedict XVI is, of course, not on the FSSP site.  Any clarification as to the status of the Society is not published on the Fraternity's website, and so we are left with the impression that the SSPX is in schism with the Catholic Church.  The negligence to correct this error isn't, exactly, a kind and fraternal push towards the Society's recognition of any kind.

In the latest fiasco, we advance beyond the 1980s, the 90s, and straight on into the 21st Century, where this aggressive resentment has distilled and culminated into the ultimate horror show: ChurchMilitantTV.  Friend to the FSSP, Michael Voris went on a tirade against the Society of Saint Pius X as recently as last year.  The week-long bonanza captivated the Traditionalist Catholic community in a frozen gasp of shock, stirring a great amount of dissatisfaction against Voris' media company.

Voris' tirade against the society lasted all week, and culminated in a Friday "CMTV FBI" special that went in-depth about ChurchMilitantTV's objections to the Society.  It was this very week, of all weeks, that the wife and I were trying to decide whether or not we should attend a Society chapel.  And so, when CMTV's Michael Voris came along to denounce the entire organization, we were given pause.  The entire week was filled with careful consideration, as we did not yet know all of the facts, and a careful examination of the Society's history was in order.

If anyone is interested in reading up on my observations from that week, the list is below:

ChurchMilitantTV: Late to the Party
Bad Timing, Coming Into the SSPX, Hearing Them Out
Reporting In: Voris' Assault is Driven Back

Suffice to say, we were unconvinced.  In fact, Michael Voris' tirade actually helped to convince us to attend the Society.  The level of energy that CMTV poured into the attack either meant that CMTV was very right or very wrong.  As the week-long bombardment proceeded apace, we took a careful look at the facts of the Society.  The history of the SSPX is one of disenfranchisement, being snubbed, and put off to the side repeatedly.  

So, from where was CMTV drawing their inspiration?  Who could possibly be misinforming Voris and company about the Society?  Was it Father Paul Nicholson, who abruptly denounced Voris once he learned of Voris' homosexual past?  

Various sources, including this one, revealed that CMTV was being largely sponsored by a backer who attended Mater Dei parish.  And there, at that time at the Mater Dei parish, this backer would hear the stormy sermons of Fr. Philip Wolfe, FSSP.  Father Wolfe did not like the SSPX one bit, and it so happens that CMTV was using a large part of one of Father Wolfe's sermons in their September 15th attack piece: Schismatics Before God.

At first, Voris was taking quotations from Fr. Wolfe without attribution.  However, after it was revealed that CMTV was using a particular sermon by Father Wolfe, they were forced to recognize this sermon at the end of their Vortex episode.

Today, a click on that link, however, will now only take you to a list of many sermons, and it is unclear which one--if any of them--are Fr. Wolfe's sermon.  

Nevertheless, CMTV welcomes Fr. Wolfe's anti-SSPX statements, and they quote him wholeheartedly, and without hesitation.  

Another priest who CMTV has trumped out is Fr. John Emerson, in an article titled: Fr. John Emerson, FSSP: The Break With the SSPX.  In this article--which actually is an interview in the magazine, The Wanderer, FSSP priest Fr. Emerson goes on to repeat that the 1988 consecration of bishops was an act of schism, and that the Society is attempting to set up a parallel Church. 

Fr. Emerson discussed the rapid push to create the FSSP:
So, the actual erection of the Society came exactly three months later on Oct. 18, and as I said [again in earlier conversation] it normally takes 20, 30, 40 years for a new order to reach that status. We got it in three months. Again, that is proof Rome is behind us.
As is clear by his account, the powers that be were in a big hurry to create the FSSP.  It was a rapid mobilization on the part of the Vatican to aggressively counter the SSPX.  They were not being friendly to Archbishop Lefebvre's organization--which, might I add, was approved from the very beginning.  No, instead, the goal was to neutralize the SSPX as quickly as possible.  

Furthermore, in this interview, Fr. Emerson, FSSP priest, states that Ecclesia Dei's purpose is to provide an alternative to the SSPX:
The Pope set up Ecclesia Dei [i.e., the Commission] to deal with all traditionalist groups or even individuals who wish to reconcile themselves with Rome fully and not to follow Archbishop Lefebvre into schism.
So, again, all of this movement--Ecclesia Dei, the FSSP--it's all polarized around and AGAINST the SSPX.  Without SSPX, none of this would have happened.  The FSSP would not have happened.  The Society of Saint Pius X is the fulcrum of the entire apparatus.  


Finding out-and-out direct hostility from the FSSP against the SSPX is a tricky kind of hunt.  Usually such actions take place when no one is looking and when it cannot be documented.  For example, if a FSSP priest is going to rail against the SSPX from the pulpit during a sermon, it is rarely recorded for posterity.  

However, this phenomenon has been witnessed enough by so many parties, that it is an established fact.  The FSSP and the SSPX have history.  It is undeniable.  It is not friendly.  It is not cordial.  And furthermore, I believe that if the Society does become reconciled with Rome soon--even if that happens--there will still be bad blood coming out of the Fraternity.  And when those flare ups occur, pinning them down officially will be just as tricky as catching any bully picking on his victim.

All this being said, myself, I still have no hostility towards the FSSP.  Believe it or not, this is true.  I've always been the kind of guy who tries to get along with everybody.  But I'm also the kind of guy who will call a spade a spade.  

Do I think that the various priests have been right in their condemnations?  No.  But being the sophisticated guy that I am, I have the ability to put that aside and accept their better qualities.  Call me a cafeteria Catholic, or whatever.  I will not claim to know exactly what a good Traditional Catholic should think in this day and age.  But spotting a bully, for me, is easy.  And though other's can't see it, I can.  I've done my best to point this out to interested people.  I hope this post will serve as an adequate resource for such individuals in the future.


  1. Very well written, thoroughly informative, and intellectually honest article. No matter if you are a traditionalist or not, whether you go to SSPX, FSSP, Institute, independent, etc, this issue of FSSP opposition/aggression/subversion to the SSPX needs to be addressed, especially if the two are to ever peacefully coexist as canonically recognized traditionalist societies.

    I fast-forwarded through Fr. Wolfe's sermon until he started talking about schism, and it is plain he is calling the SSPX a schism, and actually one of the causes of the current Crisis in the Church, alongside heresy and apostasy. Not exactly in accord with Vatican clarifications to the contrary about the SSPX the last 16 years, especially the judgments of Pope Benedict XVI.

    That part of Fr. Ripperger's sermon that was dishonest was his repeated statements that the whole SSPX was "outside the Church" when 4 of its bishops were excommunicated, until that decree of excommunication was lifted in 2009 ,which itself says nothing about the SSPX changing its status from "outside the Church" to being "inside the Church." That position contradicts Pope Benedict XVI, and is a serious distortion of the Catholic identity of Society priests (and laity).

    The evidence for FSSP aggression to the SSPX IS difficult to manifest in a single discussion, especially when any laity who attend the FSSP (and other similar Ecclesia Dei societies) are not aware of this anti-SSPX abuse. But, there are many testimonies and articles written to the fact, which you did an excellent job collecting here. I know that there are other written resources from the last decades chronicling this unfortunate FSSP vs. SSPX division, but this kind of "meta-analysis" collection of evidence should be a good resource for traditional Catholics in the future.

    Thank you.

  2. The sermon is this one: End Times, part 2: Operation of Error, about 2/3rds of the way through. He doesn't mention the SSPX by name but it's pretty clear that's who he's talking about. I know he also cautioned young people from attending a talk of Fr. Gruner at Fisher-More College. He is now in Tyler, TX at the FSSP chapel there.

  3. FSSP es elitista. Y eso es un pecado mayor. Es un pecado contra la caridad.

    1. Elitista ? Parece de esa manera , seguro. Pero su agresividad es clara , y que es el único propósito de este post .

      Una vez más , me sorprende que la gente ignora su comportamiento hostil.


      Elitist? It seems that way, for sure. But their aggression is clear, and that is the only purpose of this post.

      Again, I am surprised that people ignore their hostile behavior.

  4. I personally hope/pray that if the SSPX is fully reconciled with the Church that the FSSP and SSPX will merge, or the FSSP disbands and all priests and property are transferred to the SSPX(due to the SSPX being around longer)

    Thank you for the informative article!

  5. You won't find those comments from Fr. Wolfe in a recorded sermon. As a former editor and recorder of said sermons since the inception of Audio Sancto, I know first hand his thoughts in his early priesthood and then of the last three years. His comments were edited out per the request of the District Office. For this and some other reasons he broke his relationship with Audio Sancto. As for Fr. Ripperger, he told me I had acquired demonic oppression from being in the pews of the SSPX.

    1. This is interesting. Fr. Ripperger is an authority when it comes to being an exorcist. On what basis did he have to say this? Are you experiencing anything weird in your household? Are you experiencing any issues whatsoever? Or is this his opinion?

      Also, if the SSPX carries demons along with it, then what does it mean that our pope is trying to carry a "demon-infested organization" into regularization with the Church?

  6. I wouldn't call the SSPX schismatic just because apparently Rome does not call them schismatic, yet I can hardly see how they aren't schismatic. They have an episcopal structure operating independently of Rome. How can that be anything other than schismatic? You often hear SSPX adherents speak of Rome as the "Conciliar Church", as if it were a new Church, as if Rome had defected, as if the Conciliar Church were no longer the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church now "subsisted" only in the SSPX.

    I don't see what's so wrong about FSSP aggression towards SSPX. It makes complete sense to me. They both have the same reason for existing: preserving the ancient Roman liturgy, yet the FSSP does that within the Church, whereas the SSPX does it outside the Church, so they are natural antagonists. I don't think you would see the same antagonism between them if the SSPX belonged to the Church alongside the FSSP. But we must ask what right the SSPX has to exist. If the reason for the SSPX's existence is to preserve the ancient liturgy and traditional theology, why does the SSPX need to exist when we have the FSSP which preserves both the ancient liturgy and traditional theology while remaining in union with the Church. What is the point of the SSPX?

    1. You can "hardly see", eh? And so even the Vatican's position doesn't count for you? You're harboring a schismatic spirit there, friend.


    2. This article is a mile long and full of shit

    3. 8:55 Anonymous, you're an idiot.

  7. The reason why there is aggression and disputes between the sspx and fssp is because they have fundamental disagreements on principles. Obviously people should be more charritable, but there are major issues. If the sspx is right and the New Mass is illicit and vatican ii has errors, then the sspx is correct in how they act. How could one be quite when not speak is to speak. How could one compromise and accept that which is evil. No one else is warning people about the evils of text itself of vatican ii. No one else is telling people not to attend a Rite of Mass which was never actually promulgated. In fact in a Novus Ordo Missal there are two texts of promugation. One is where Paul VI promulgated the fact that a Missal can be made and that 4 Eucaristic prayers are going to be in that Missal. The next text is one by a Roman Congregation that actually promulgated the Novus Ordo, which is absurd.

  8. Thank you so much for this insightful article!! It gives voice to what I have been struggling with for many years in how to maintain orthodoxy & tradition. Keep up the excellent work!!

  9. Laramie, thank you for this piece. I learned a few things.

    It seems to me that the cognitive dissonance endemic to the very essence of the FSSP expresses itself in the kind of illogical, uncharitable commentary you're exposed here. The positions espoused not only make no sense, they are contrary even to what the Vatican itself has essentially always maintained.

    My wife & I attended an ICK parish for five years. The offer a wonderful High Tridentine Mass and give great sermons that are authentically Catholic. However, when it comes to the crisis - to its root causes - they're MIA. Hear no evil, see no evil.

    When I myself was considering a transition to assisting at Society Masses, around four years ago, and politely questioned our ICK canon regarding them, I saw him, for the first time ever, drained of his confidence. Soon I understood why.

  10. When will the SSPX realize they are modern day protestants. You have to be in union with the Pope to be Catholic. Free yourself and go to a Latin Mass that has jurisdiction, valid confessions, marriage, etc.

    The SSPX wants to control the Church, that is why they refuse to come back when the Vatican has given them all of their demands!

  11. I attend a sedevacantist chapel.
    Personally I don't think the FSSP-ICKSP are valid priest's. They use 'Bishops' who are ordained and consecrated in the conciliar 'rites of Holy Orders'.
    Yes I think the SSPX are valid Clergy and I would trust receiving extreme Unction from them.

  12. Anonymous.

    Wow, no dog in the fight. SSPX should acknowledge the truth of their standing. This is the most emotional argument defending the SSPX that I have ever seen. Talk about liberal!

    1. What is emotional is your reply in this thread.

  13. If you think Fr.Cekada is just like Martin Luther,why are you trying to insult him?
    Your "Pope" just celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and had his picture taken with a Martin Luther statue!
    Sedevacantism is that crazy belief of preserving and practicing the Roman Catholic faith during a time of crisis and emergency.

  14. Mr Hirsch,
    I can only give my own story as a counter example. I consulted my spiritual director, who is FSSP, on attending SSPX masses on Saturdays. I asked about receiving communion there, and he told me not to worry about it. He made sure I was aware of the issues concerning the possible invalidity of marriages or confirmations from the SSPX, but was otherwise ok with it.

    My guess is that FSSP priests differ in their view on the SSPX. I wonder if some might have changed their opinion after Francis have them limited jurisdiction regarding confessions- how can a schismatic group have jurisdiction in anything?

    Finally I will pass along my reply to some who tell me they are schism a ticket-"If that is a schism, it is the oddest schism I've ever heard of." Athansius would be considered a schismatic by that definition.

  15. Hi Larramie, thanks for this posting. I recognise the problem and in my opinion it lies in the truth. Jesus said: the truth will make you free. There is a strong inner freedom in Msgr Lefebvre's homilies and writings and this is also the case for the SSPX priests. Back to my personal experience: I discovered the Traditional Latin Mass with priests of FSSP and they have been a blessing to me and my family. Because we had to move to another country I looked for the Traditional Latin Mass, and it turned out that it was only celebrated by SSPX priests. The first time I went to a Low Mass, I was very anxious and doubtful because I did not want to do anything against God's will. To my surprise, I soon felt at ease and with the time I discovered that this was the spiritual home I was looking for so many years. I found peace with God, with myself and my neighbour and above all, with the Church, no matter what is going on. SSPX showed me what it means to be a true Catholic. I believe that SSPX is the work of Divine Providence and the day will come that God will reward them as they come out of the persecution. Meanwhile I pray for the FSSP priests who where very negative (similar to your descriptions) about me going to the TLM with the SSPX.

    1. I totally agree.

  16. What you're missing is context. There was definitely bad blood at the birth of the FSSP, as it was culled from some of the original seminarians and it goes both ways. This is mostly amongst the originals. From my experience 'in the field' at the level of the "mission" (SSPX) or "apostolate" (FSSP) [as neither have true 'parishes'], younger priests from either side tend to be quite friendly with each other. I happen to know of certain high ranking officials on the District aka national level in the US being rather friendly, as well. It's usually vociferous laics who take tribalism a bit more seriously than they should who grind polemics.

    As a matter of canon law, schism is a serious matter but it's not one limited to the Holy Father. To be in schism is also to refuse communion with the bishops in communion with the Pope, as well. Whatever their nominal deferences to the Vatican and the Holy Father which is 'merely' canonically irregular, SSPX intrudes on the diocese of hundreds of bishops. Heretics, or not, that is NOT allowed by the Council of Trent. Of course, heresy is an extremely charge not laid lightly on an heir to the Apostles... whatever their faults, even the worst diocesan bishops should face accusations under the provisions of Canon Law and those seriously accusing them are morally obligated to formally charge them.

    The sede answer is more consistent as they claim they're not bishops at all. Their logical answer SHOULD be a conclave rather than leave the majority of Catholics to the whim of a sect in apostasy (the familiar refrain every heretic from Arius through Martin Luther, of course, was that they retained the Apostolic Faith and the larger Church was a corruption). FSSP priests are quite right to point this out. Another former SSPX priest, from the first generation with Fr. Bisig was Fr. Aulagnier, who pointed out that none in the SSPX today have ever known a regular canonical situation and the real risk is psychological schism. "The Church is a visible and hierarchical society. If one lives too long in an autarchy, one ends up losing the meaning of what a hierarchy is. We are thus in danger, the time passing and the opposition remaining, of forgetting Rome and organizing ourselves more and more outside of Rome." He wrote that almost 15 years ago, of course, before speaking publicly in favor of reconciliation. Today's schimastic is tomorrow's defender of his father's faith and as the example of the Eastern schismatics and Protestants and Old Catholics show us is that they divide and divide again until there are between dozens and hundreds of sub-sects, regardless of whether you want to call it "autocephaly," it's the antithesis of unity.

  17. Back to context, to attain it, some perspective is necessary. Both Fr. Cekada (in his infamous case study of the Nine) agree with that of Thomas W. Case (look up "The Society of St. Pius X Gets Sick" from the late 80's shortly after his death that Abp. Lefebvre faced some of the same tight rope walking that Bp. Fellay is now. There have always been an element of the sedevantists in the SSPX. Abp. Lefebvre was quite good at tailoring his argument to those he was speaking with and wasn't willing to repudiate it while his negotiations with Cardinal Ratzinger were going on. This is very acute in the selection of the 1962 books... though as Fr. Cekada points out, by what right did he do this? His Society was created as a Pio Uno under a single diocese and never granted the Papal recognition of the FSSP and never had the authority to decide any liturgical matters on anything.

    That Paul VI refused to issue the juridicial abrogation of the Missal of St. Pius V which Bugnini asked for is very telling, as is the Commission of Cardinals in 1986 which concluded that the traditional Mass was never abrogated and laid the groundwork for Summorum Pontificum. That SSPX's existence in the background helped with this is undeniable, yet as Thomas Case wrote:

    "Followers of Lefebvre say that he was a saint. They point out that if not for the Society of St. Pius X, there would be no Ecclesia Dei. There would be no opportunity for Catholics to return to the old rite as they now have the increasing opportunity to do. Perhaps. But if an accord had been reached, an internal reform might have been more readily accomplished.

    All that power and enthusiasm working inside the Church might have accomplished much more much quicker. But, once again, we will never know."


    "Probably they are right in thinking that in the Old Mass there was a sense of mystery lacking in even the most reverently said New Mass. And there were, and continue to be, deplorable abuses of the New Mass in many parish churches around the world.

    But now there is an opportunity to be both in the Church and to participate in the Old Mass. One hates to pop the bubble regarding Marcel Lefebvre's movement, since many pious Catholics revere him as a saint. Continue to revere him as a saint, if you must, but please come back to the Church. The more of you who come back, the sooner recalcitrant bishops will be forced to allow the indult Mass in their dioceses. If you stay outside, you will most likely divide and re-divide, and drink the gall of hatred poured out from the pulpit, and die alone and loveless."

    Fr. Cekada is a perfect example of that, with his membership from the Cistercians to SSPX to SSPV to the Thuc line / CMRI fringe group he's with now, as is Bp. Williamson. The papacy has historically been the glue that held the Church together despite many conflicting forces attempting to pull it apart.

    Outside of the hierarchy, the 'progressive' cabal of bishops and cardinals from Kasper, Marx, etc would have face formidable arguments from tradition. In an irregular state, OTOH, they are easily marginalized as schismatics and not entirely without foundation. Those bishops and cardinals who should be natural allies are isolated and reticent to be associated with them.

  18. FWIW, the local FSSP in Los Angeles don't extend polemics at all. I witnessed SSPX priests attending a Solemn Nuptial celebrated by FSSP. The FSSP priest doesn't even outright condemn the sedes, though he disagrees with them, he tells his flock to pray for them explains that they're just trying to save their souls and to try and imagine what makes a person think they have to do that.

    That the Church is in crisis is undeniable. Rather than attribute this to masonic plots or apostasy, I've always looked at it as the test of Job. God took away everything he had, yet when he didn't blaspheme, God gave it all back and more.

    Similarly, God took away the greatest treasure the Church ever produced, the Sacrifice of the Mass. He preserved it, though. Those who fail are those aren't only those doing Clown and Balloon Masses, but those who go into schism and can only assume the worst out of the Pope and bishops, forgetting that St. Paul repented of his calling the Jewish High Priest a whitewashed wall and admonishing that one should not speak ill of the prince of their people. As we endure this trial, pray for unity and for reconcilation and for Rome to be reminded of tradition inside the SSPX as much as for SSPX to remember the good memory of Rome, not as an ideal but as something here that needs them as much as vice versa. The reward should at least match that of Job!

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