Members of the SSPX are not heretics



See the post entitled: For the record - Castrillón: “The Bishops, Priests, and Faithful of the [SSPX] are not schismatics.”

The Bishops, Priests, and Faithful of the Society of St Pius X are not schismatics. It is Archbishop Lefebvre who has undertaken an illicit Episcopal consecration and therefore performed a schismatic act. It is for this reason that the Bishops consecrated by him have been suspended and excommunicated. The priests and faithful of the Society have not been excommunicated. They are not heretics. I do, however, share St Jerome’s fear that heresy leads to schism and vice versa. The danger of a schism is big, such as a systematic disobedience vis-à-vis the Holy Father or by a denial of his authority. It is after all a service of charity, so that the Priestly Society gains full communion with the Holy Father by acknowledging the sanctity of the new Mass.

So. Does this mean that a faithful Catholic may join the Society of St. Pius X without there being bad consequences? And that if one joined, they wouldn’t be schismatic, or heretical, or excommunicated? I guess so, because His Eminence is so clear on the issue. Your thoughts?


SSPX are definitely not heretics per se. Whether they’re schismatic or not is a different issue.


It is the Gospels, I believe, that teach us not to even give the appearance of scandal. In the light of all that has gone on with the SSPX, and the fact that there is at least one group, the FSSP, which is similar but giving no appearance of scandal, why would one want to be a member?


Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos is the Vatican’s official spokesman and curial official for matters pertaining to traditionalism.

“The Bishops, Priests, and Faithful of the Society of St Pius X are not schismatics.”

A highly significant statement, from the same official spokesman.


Because maybe it’s more to his spiritual advantage to go to one that is closer? (Canon Law #844)

And to whom is this giving the appearance of scandal anyway? To those who attend circus Novus Ordo Masses?


It was an interview. Hardly official. It’s kind of funny to see that he is basically approaching the SSPX like the Church has been approaching the Orthodox.

Let’s look at his long and lengthy letter here (I’m guessing most would agree to this source):

He starts out by saying he finds no heresy or schism and the goes onto show all of Fellay’s errors (some of which are schismatic and heretical) and yet he never outright says "You are schismatic and heretical. I do like this statement though:

No heretic or schismatic, throughout history, has said he is wrong. They always thought that is was the Church that was wrong.

Hint, hint…:wink:


I’ll trust the official spokesman of the Vatican for traditionalist affairs more than your repeated postings that dribble criticism and snide asides.


If its scandal that worries you --just take a look at St. Stephen. He cause such a scandal for teaching the faith of God the Son–Christ–that his words were taken as blasphemous and he was condemned to stoning.
Wednesday’s Audience

Code: ZE07011005

Date: 2007-01-10

On St. Stephen

“He Teaches Us to Love the Cross”

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 10, 2007 ( Here is the Vatican translation of Benedict XVI’s address at today’s general audience, dedicated to present the figure of Christianity’s first martyr, St. Stephen.

The most important thing to note is that in addition to charitable services, Stephen also carried out a task of evangelization among his compatriots, the so-called “Hellenists”. Indeed, Luke insists on the fact that Stephen, “full of grace and power” (Acts 6: 8), presented in Jesus’ Name a new interpretation of Moses and of God’s Law itself. He reread the Old Testament in the light of the proclamation of Christ’s death and Resurrection. He gave the Old Testament a Christological reinterpretation and provoked reactions from the Jews, who took his words to be blasphemous (cf. Acts 6:11-14).

For this reason he was condemned to stoning. And St Luke passes on to us the saint’s last discourse, a synthesis of his preaching. Just as Jesus had shown the disciples of Emmaus that the whole of the Old Testament speaks of him, of his Cross and his Resurrection, so St Stephen, following Jesus’ teaching, interpreted the whole of the Old Testament in a Christological key. He shows that the mystery of the Cross stands at the centre of the history of salvation as recounted in the Old Testament; it shows that Jesus, Crucified and Risen, is truly the goal of all this history.

St Stephen also shows that the cult of the temple was over and that Jesus, the Risen One, was the new, true “temple”. It was precisely this “no” to the temple and to its cult that led to the condemnation of St Stephen, who at this moment, St Luke tells us, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and seeing heaven, God and Jesus, St Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God” (cf. Acts 7:56).


That was the official spokesman of the Vatican on traditionalist affairs in a letter from him to Fellay outlining their history. It wasn’t a quote from a German newpaper.

I also find it funny that we’ll look to newspaper quotes over the Holy Father’s Ecclesia Dei:

  1. In itself, this act was one of disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated. Hence such disobedience - which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy - constitutes a schismatic act.(3) In performing such an act, notwithstanding the formal canonical warning sent to **them **by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops on 17 June last, Mons. Lefebvre and the priests Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta, have incurred the grave penalty of excommunication envisaged by ecclesiastical law.(4)
  1. The root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete, because it does not take sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, “comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth”.(5)

If you’ll notice, the canonical warning was sent to them not just Lefebvre. If one wants to think that the other bishops were not in schism but merely excommunicated then, by all means, go ahead. One would at least have to admit to the fact that Castro Mayer was also adherered to the schism if you look at the official excommunication decree.

Moreover, I declare that Monsignor Antonio de Castro Mayer, Bishop emeritus of Campos, since he took part directly in the liturgical celebration as co-consecrator and adhered publicly to the schismatical act, has incurred excommunication latae sententiae as envisaged by canon 1364, paragraph 1.

So, Lefebvre and Castro Mayer were in schism but the others were just randomly excommunicated for watching a soccer match.:rolleyes: When you adhere to a schismatic act, you are in schism and you will be ipso facto excommunicated.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos is trying his hardest to win them back and I, for one, am happy for it but to deny that they have serious problems that should be avoided is wrong. If they’re peachy then we don’t need to worry and they can stop all of the talks. Read his letter.


Simmer down, guy.

That was 1988. According to my calendar, it is now 2007 and much has happened since. A lot you and I don’t hear about except maybe through the French bishops.

Can’t you give the SSPX the benefit of the doubt? Or do you indeed know that they are going to Hell, Senor God?


I agree. You know there is a problem when someone drags stuff up that is 5 yrs old or older–to keep this group in the doghouse. As if the relationship between the Church and the SSPX could not change. It is more or less saying Card. Castrillon Hoyos lied.


It’s girl, sir.:wink: And, I’m not simmered up so I don’t need to simmer down.

Ask youself which is better. Would it be better to suggest people go to a group that is likely schismatic and to which the Vatican has time and again said that they could not recommend attendance or would it be better to suggest that this group is a danger to be around? So, no, I don’t give them the benefit of the doubt since they’re a likely danger to souls at this point until they accept Pastor Aeternus in deed.

When the Vatican says “the SSPX schism is over”, “the SSPX is regularized” or whatever other lingo they will use (which I pray will be soon!), I say avoid. Once that happens I’ll be happy to suggest them as I do the FSSP and the Institute. I’m certainly not going to say “Go to them because a translation of a German newspaper quote says they’re OK.” Nothing has changed since the good Cardinal’s letter to Fellay. When it does, I’m having a party!


There is a problem when someone takes a quote from a newspaper as an official Church document. And spare me the insuation that I said Card. Castrillon Hoyos lied. Nice try.:wink:


Thoughts? Beyond awesome comes to mind.

And I love Rorate Caeli. Couldn’t live without it.


It wasn’t a try. You are always looking for ways to keep the SSPX on the edge of hell.


Sigh! Whatever would my motivation be for this charge? Can’t we just stick to the discussion and leave out the personal attacks?:frowning: In just one thread I’ve said Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has lied and I’m trying to keep the SSPX on the edge of hell.

I have more than one friend who attends the chapels. The last thing I want is for any of them to be “on the edge of hell.”


Then—why do you try to find ways to attack them.


How is it that when you post a quote from the good Cardinal from a newspaper it’s fine but when I post one from him or the Pope that tells the SSPX that they’re not in a fine and dandy state, I’m attacking? Again, can’t we keep the personal attacks away and just keep quoting until our hearts are content? Like I said, when the official document comes out, a party is to be had!


Hi Bob,

Point 1: cop out

Point 2: foolish response requiring no thought. You know, I am about as sick of hearing thoughtless responses like this as I am of hearing people tell me I’m a relic for only attending the TLM.

Remember the hippies chanting in front of LBJ"S Whitehouse?
(Hey, hey, LBJ…?) I have a new one for my Traditionalist brothers and sisters who spout such poison:

Hey, hey you who can’t keep your emotions at bay,
how many have you kept from the TLM today?

It is attitudes such as yours that kept me away for 7 years. Thanks for robbing me of the best experiences of my Lord for so long by your slander.


Thank you for an intelligent response!!

I think, though, the difference between the St. Stephen and the SSPX is that one acted in accordance with the proper authority, and the other did not.

Mind you, my original response had nothing at all to do with our Traditional Latin Mass, which I love and exclusively attend, and during which I can exclaim the same as did St. Stephen

Thank you again for responding thoughtfully. I had not read this by our Holy Father, and I believe I understand the context of your use of it.

sincerely and in Jesus’ Sacred Heart,


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