New Info. Servants of the Holy Family

This video review was presented to me regarding Servants of the Holy Family, a religious community in Colorado Springs. I know there was a thread on this many years ago but this information makes it very clear what the local bishop had been doing to these traditional priests.

Considering the times we are in, this is an important video:

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Thank you for posting that. That is exactly what the above review discusses including all of its misrepresentations. I am going to post the link alone after this post so that it shows the picture link.

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Are you accusing the Bishop of wrong doing

Do you understand what the letter is about and the role of a religious community within a Diocese


Why does this community not go back to where they originated? Why stay in a diocese where they are not considered a part of the diocese? The review blames the problem on the bishop in Colorado. What does the bishop of the priest’s ordination have to say in this matter?

I listened to the video. Three problems immediately jumped out at me:

  1. “[Fr. Ward] received his faculties—what they call, ‘usque ad revocationem’. It means he has his priestly faculties until revoked… that means he was ordained, received his faculties from his diocesan bishop in Fribourg, and has faculties worldwide. Universally.”

It is true that in 1973, when Fr. Ward was ordained, the SSPX was approved by Bp. Charrière and fully recognized by the Church. This is unquestionable. What the video fails to mention, however, is that his successor Bp. Mamie attempted to suppress the SSPX by withdrawing that approval. Now, the SSPX contests the validity of this suppression, arguing that because Bp. Mamie did not follow proper canonical procedure, it was invalid; for Fr. Ward, however, there is no point in trying to argue against Bp. Mamie’s ruling, for the reason that he would find himself stripped of his faculties regardless.

This is because if the SSPX was not validly suppressed and Abp. Lefebvre remained his religious superior, then his faculties were revoked when he was expelled from the SSPX in 1976; if, on the other hand, the SSPX was validly suppressed in 1975 by the bishop of Fribourg, then Fr. Ward lost his faculties at that moment and was suspended along with every other SSPX priest. Either way, Fr. Ward does not have faculties and cannot licitly celebrate Mass or administer the sacraments, and that similarly applies to his fellow priests, all of whom left the SSPX with him, some while they were still seminarians (and consequently never received priestly faculties from a legitimate authority).

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In the video, we also hear the argument made that,

  1. “Do you really think that if any part of this document was actually true, that any bishop, anywhere, would support them at all?”

This is in reference to bishops visiting the community to ordain their seminarians and confer the sacrament of Confirmation. This is simply naïve. Bishops make mistakes—as a case in point, the SSPV received illicit (and quite likely invalid) episcopal consecrations from Bp. Méndez-Gonzalez. Bp. Méndez-Gonzalez was in “full communion” with the Church, but that didn’t stop him from helping out a schismatic group—what his reasons were for doing so, we cannot say with certainty, but Bp. Méndez had suffered a stroke shortly before the consecrations and family members reported concerns about his mental well-being. The fact that diocesan bishops have assisted the Servants of the Holy Family, therefore, does not prove that they are in communion with the Church, far from it.

  1. “Let me tell you something, these talks will stop you in your tracks.”

Indeed, there’s no denying that the Servants of the Holy Family offer fantastic catechetical lectures. Their homilies are outstanding. I’ve listened to a fair number of them. And yet, I would not recommend them as a reliable resource. Why? Because Fr. Ward and his priests maintain a spirit of independence with regards to the hierarchy. Even if their priests do not speak out against the hierarchy directly, there is still the concern that a community which simply disregards the Pope will cultivate a schismatic mentality over time. In the case of the Servants of the Holy Family, that mentality has existed since the very inception of the community, and has only been reinforced by the passing of decades.

Wrong—they do preach against sedevacantism I have heard it from their pulpit.

Because plenty of Catholics want them there and rely on them for the Mass and sacraments.

Just been to their website and saw that whole video. They seem absolutely wonderful. I may even join their ‘member’s area’ to see their Holy Week Liturgies: they seemed great from the other video, and ten dollars is barely anything if the free vidoes are anything to go by. That bishop sounds appalling. You are so lucky to live near enough to attend such wonderful, faithful, traditional liturgies. The most I can make is low mass at an oratory every few weeks. :frowning:️Oh well, who knows, there may be more very similar societies around very soon which I can make it to. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

I’ve received information contradicting this; however, if you can provide a link to a homily or conference in which Fr. Ward or one of his priests publicly denounces the Sedevacantist position, I’ll gladly edit my post.

Consider then how your information is hearsay and mine is straight from the source then. With my own ears I heard them preach against it and make comparisons to Protestantism.

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That presents a separate concern. Your testimony could be reliable, or you could be trying to defend a community that has been called a “cult of personality” by former members. These ex-members could be bitter and spreading disinformation, of course, but you understand if it’s difficult for outsiders to discern what is accurate information and what is not.

I’d like a link to a homily, but I understand if you can’t remember the date off the top of your head. I’ll take you at your word and edit my post, but that does not alleviate my other concerns.

Well, the best way to discern that would be to find out for yourself straight from the source in person.

I know this forum is known for closing threads right after some super biased post is posted. Do you think it will happen on this one? Let’s see.

I’ve already edited my previous post, so you should recognize that I’m willing to consider new information. If you don’t mind, there’s a question I’d like to ask you. Do the Servants of the Holy Family teach that the sacrament of Confirmation gives us the grace to avoid dangers to our salvation, including the Novus Ordo and churches without communion rails?

Edit: it’s not surprising that you couldn’t answer my question, given what we can find on the official Youtube channel of the Servants of the Holy Family:

“‘Why should all Catholics be Confirmed? All Catholics should be Confirmed in order to be strengthened against the dangers to salvation and be prepared better to defend their Catholic faith.’… this is a very great and powerful sacrament that helps us to defend our faith and to defend ourselves and those we know—friends, family—from the dangers towards salvation, wherever they may be…so, a person who for example, goes into a church, a local parish church, and sees things that are foreign to him or her…like virtually all the statues have been removed and grotesque images are in its place…and there’s no communion rail, or if they happen to go to a…(long pause)…so called “Mass”, or a worship service, they’re in shock or horrified…it is their faith, but especially Confirmation, that makes them realize, “This is not of God…I’m getting out of here.” And they walk out. And that’s the smart thing to do. And that’s what Christians have done through 2,000 years.”

There is a very good reason why the Servants operate without diocesan approval, and it is disingenuous on your part to hide their views, which most of the posters on this forum would find unappealing, to say the least.

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In this day it is important to support all places like this one especially with the current scandals. There are others like this. Maybe there is one near you.

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If they are not approved by the diocese or the Vatican there isn’t really anything else to say about it no matter the justifications they have for their disobedience.

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