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Polemic inside SSPX

French Capuchin Publicly Challenges
Agreement with Rome

Reactions opposed to the accord of the SSPX leaders with Rome implying the acceptance of Vatican II “interpreted in the light of Tradition” seem to be growing among priests of the organization. Two of them that recently came to TIA's knowledge appear to be just the tip of the iceberg. The first was from the Prior of Orizaba in Mexico, Fr. Basilio Meramo, who publicly stated his indignation over Bishop Fellay’s agreement with Rome, which he qualified as an apostasy. TIA posted one sermon and an open letter that he wrote presenting his opposition to any accord.

Now, a new case has come to the surface.

On February 5, Bishop Fellay was present at a meeting of the SSPX superiors in France that took place in St. Nicholas de Chardonnay, Paris. After his speech in which he gave an account of the recent steps regarding his relations with the Vatican, a Capuchin superior of the Convent of St. Anthony Aurenque, Fr. Jean de Morgon, stood up and asked whether it was Bishop Fellay’s intention to accept “the Conciliar Church, the Modernist Rome.” As the Bishop hesitated, the religious insisted a second and a third time, but received no answer to his question.

The Franciscan superior, also present, ordered Fr. Jean to be silent and leave the room. Fr. Jean declared in loud voice that “there is no obligation whatsoever to obey someone who contradicts Faith and Morals,” but he left the room. Afterwards, he was ordered to issue a letter of apology to Bishop Fellay.

Fr. Jean stated that he would apologize for the form of his question, not for its content. To this “letter of apology” he had been ordered to write, he attached a declaration in which he expounded the reasons for his disagreement with the accord. He sent this declaration to various friends and supporters of SSPX, who placed it on a French website on February 22, 2009. Recently, one of our readers sent it to us.

Below, we present the main excerpts of Fr. Jean’s attached statement, translated from French by TIA (our subtitles). Our readers familiar with French can read the full text here or read news about it on websites that reported the episode (here and here).

The highlights of this document are doubtless the following:

  • Fr. Jean’s allegation that a network of progressivist priests infiltrated the SSPX;

  • His affirmation that they managed to rise to key-positions in the organization;

  • His statement that the present day accord with Rome headed by Bishop Fellay would be the principal goal of their agenda.

  • Also surprising is his final affirmation that Bishop Williamson would be a part of this team.

I leave the reader to judge the truth of these statements.

TIA is taking the initiative to report this episode, as it did in the case of Fr. Meramo, because it seems to have been forbidden to circulate these dissensions among the SSPX grassroots. It is hard to justify leaders of a movement who prevent their followers from knowing what is happening in their own ranks. I believe the faithful have the right to know these controversies. Here is my contribution toward this end..

     The Editor
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Principal Excerpts from Fr. Jean’s Letter

Convent St. Anthony Aurenque
Castelnaud d’Arbieu, Fleurence
February 11, 2009
Our Lady of Lourdes

Monsignor, …

In conscience, before God and men, for the common good of Catholic tradition and hence the Church, it seems to be my duty to add to my letter of apology what follows:

After my vehement intervention on February 5, pressure was put on me both in St. Nicholas and in Causade. In response, I said that I would apologize for the form (the ire) but not for the matter (the complaint).

Thus, I intensely regret having lost my temper, insofar as it caused scandal to some (although I have received congratulations by telephone and letter) or harmed or deviated from the subject of my complaint. Further, a simple letter of apology might allow you to think that I regret what I said. Thus, [to avoid this impression] I feel obliged to return to that matter and make it even more explicit. …

If I did not sing the Te Deum for the Motu Proprio, it is because my superior allowed me freedom on that point. I did not want to applaud a text that places the Mass of all times on the same level as the “bastard” Mass, as Msgr. Lefebvre often called it. …

I consider the SSPX a work of the Church, my second mother. To it I owe the integral conservation of my faith, my religious life and my priesthood. I wholehearted love it, and this is why I become indignant when I believe it is threatened. …

[He goes on to explain that he believes there is an infiltration inside the SSPX, and he calls those members “subversives.”]

When I took the microphone [at the meeting in Paris], I said that I - along with many other priests - was very apprehensive with what was happening in the SSPX- Vatican relations that appears to be leading us - slowly but surely – toward joining with conciliar and modernist Rome.

On that occasion I spoke out – with great repugnance – on behalf of other priests who encouraged me to do so. I was not just expressing my personal opinion. For five years, I have been convinced that this development constitutes part of a skillful process designed by certain subversive priests who managed to occupy strategic positions in the SSPX (as superiors, in seminaries, media and finances) in order to lead it to this merger [with modernist Vatican]. …

A suspect petition

Since I returned from Paris, Divine Providence has confirmed to me - as if it were necessary - that this process of merging is in progress. One of the faithful showed me a text from the Internet of a petition of support for Benedict XVI. In the announcements of Sunday Mass, I believed it was my duty to warn the faithful about this campaign, telling them that we should pray for Pope Benedict XVI, because he has heavy responsibilities, but that it was not the case to give him an unconditional support, considering that he had just declared (L’Osservatore Romano, French weekly edition, Dec. 23-30, 2008, p. 6) that the Church rejoices at the autonomy between the State and the Church, considering it a great progress of mankind. I also deemed it proper to invite the faithful to read an [old] article of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais about the errors taught (again and again, without any corrections) by professor Ratzinger (Sel de la Terre n. 67, pp 22-54).

Further investigation of the source of this petition clearly shows on the website of Forum Catholique that it springs from and is encouraged by GREC [French acronym for Group of Reflection among Catholics] that was founded in 1997 (for 10 years we did not even know of the existence of such a club!). This group brings together clergy and laity from all the various tendencies of “tradition,” primarily those who have merged [with the Vatican]. Among those is found the SSPX. They work “to achieve reconciliation according to the institutional and juridical forms.” This goal obviously targets the SSPX, which among that group is the only one that (still) has not merged.

One can also read there that this petition is encouraged by Archbishop [Fortunato] Baldelli, the Apostolic Nuncio, and Bishop [Philippe] Breton of Aire and Dax, representing the Bishops of France. I was told by a SSPX colleague that Bishop Breton stated that he met Fr. Cacqueray [the French superior of SSPX] at a GREC meeting … I was not surprised, therefore, to learn that the superior of the French district [Cacqueray] had exhorted all the faithful of Mutualité [in Paris] to sign the petition supporting Benedict XVI.

Do we need more proofs that the SSPX authorities are determined to merge with conciliar Rome? Is it necessary to listen again to the program of Radio Courtesy (July 17, 2007) where Fr. Lelong, a GREC activist, assured his listeners that the present day SSPX leaders would be fully willing to merge and that their task would essentially be only to silence the recalcitrant inside the SSPX?

Measuring the consequences

I am perfectly aware of the gravity of these revelations and their consequences. I have weighed and verified them as much as possible through the means Divine Providence recently afforded me. In conscience I could no longer remain silent, only in prayer. I do not want to wait for the house to be completely burned before calling the alert! I am absolutely certain that I fulfill my duty and the will of God in communicating these things to you. It is up to you to make your own judgment following your own conscience. Thinking about the numerous souls that were confided by Our Lord Jesus Christ to your care and for which you will have to give an account regarding their faith at the judgment day [the question rises]: “What do you expect from the Church?” The answer: The FAITH.

Regarding the future, I place myself totally in the hands of Divine Providence. I expect to be cast into the street, being labeled “sede-vacantist” (defamation is a classical tactic of the subversives to marginalize their opponents). If some tragedy will happen to me - it is necessary to foresee everything - I have confided this letter and all my hot documents to some dependable friends, who can disseminate them should the need arise. I know that my parents will provide for me and help me to re-start or, better said, to continue my religious life somewhere else. It is an enormous pain for me to become “vagus”, but if this is the will of the Good God in this astonishing crisis, so be it!

I have no trust in Bishop Fellay, who uses his authority to cover this whole operation. Neither do I have any in Bishop Williamson, who was found to be in secret contact with Rome a week after Easter 2008. Regarding our other two Bishops, I hope that on the day of the merger (which would not be so far off, as many pretend, since Benedict XVI is getting old…) or even before, at least one of them will stand up and continue the work of Msgr. Lefebvre.

Should this happen, I alert my brothers of Morgon and Aurenque who refuse this capitulation on the battlefield of the Faith that I will return and place myself under the obedience of their superior or the eldest one. Until this day comes, let us remain united in praying the Rosary, confiding in the final triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Fr. Jean O.F.M.


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted April 14, 2009

Tradition in Action

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