SSPX Building Up Vs Pulling Down…

From blogger, Gabriel Syme…

Bishop Huonder of the Diocese of Chur (Switzerland) has announced he will spent his retirement with the SSPX. He is 76 and has wished to retire for a while, Pope Francis having already rejected his resignation in 2017. I don’t know a lot about him, beyond the fact he seems quite solid and has previously been “in the wars” with the LGBT and secular movements.
Presumably he will still be able to carry out the functions of a Prelate and so this could be a real boon for the SSPX. Rorate reports that Pope Francis is “well informed” about the Bishop’s choice and personally approves of it.  

Editor writes…

Clearly, those who have spread the falsehood that the SSPX is in schism, are plain wrong – have been all along, of course, but it must be crystal clear, even to the slowest of “liberal” minds, that Pope Francis (of ALL popes!) is hardly likely to approve one of his bishops spending his retirement with a “schismatic” Society of traditional priests and bishops. There’s a limit to embracing “equality”, “diversity” and “tolerance”.  It seems as good a time as ever, then, to reflect on the closing chapter of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Open Letter to Confused Catholics, written just twenty years after the dramatic changes in the Church, in the years following the Second Vatican Council.  

Archbishop Lefebvre writes: Building Up Versus Pulling Down (from Open Letter to Confused Catholics)

Twenty years have gone by and one would have thought that the reactions raised by the Council reforms would have calmed down, that the Catholic people would have buried the religion in which they had been brought up, that the younger ones, not having known it, would have accepted the new one. That, at least, was the wager made by the Modernists. They were not unduly disturbed by the uproar, sure of themselves as they were in the early days. They were less so later on. The frequent and necessary concessions made to the spirit of the world did not produce the expected results. Nobody any longer wanted to be a priest of the new religion and the faithful turned away from their religious practice. The Church which tried to become a Church of the poor became a poor Church, obliged to resort to advertising to collect Peter’s Pence, and to sell off its properties.

During this time those faithful to Tradition drew together in all the Christian lands, and particularly in France, Switzerland, the United States and Latin America.
The fabricator of the new Mass, Mgr. Annibale Bugnini was himself obliged to recognize this world-wide resistance in his posthumous book,21 a resistance which is growing and organizing itself unceasingly and drawing support. No, the “traditionalist” movement is not “slowing-down” as the progressivist journalists write from time to time to reassure themselves. Where else are there as many people at Mass as at St. Nicholas-du-Chardonnet, and also as many Masses, as many Benedicitons of the Blessed Sacrament or as many beautiful ceremonies? The Society of Saint Pius X throughout the world owns seventy houses,22 each with at least one priest, churches like the one in Brussels and the one we have quite recently bought in London, or the one placed at our disposal in Marseilles; also schools, and four seminaries.

Carmelite convents are opening and already forming new communities. Religious communities of men and of women created fifteen or more years ago, who strictly apply the rule of the Orders from which they stem, are overflowing with vocations, and are continuously having to enlarge their premises and construct more buildings. The generosity of the Catholic faithful never ceases to amaze me, particularly in France.

The monasteries are centers of attraction, crowds of people go there often from far away; young people bewildered by the illusory seductions of pleasures and escape in every form, find in them their Road to Damascus. Here is a list of places where they have
kept the true Catholic faith and for that reason draw people: Le Barroux, Flavigny-sur Ozerain, La Haye-aux-Bonshommes, the Benedictines of Alés, the Sisters of Fanjeaux, of Brignolles, of Pontcallec, and communities like that of Father Lecareux…

Travelling a great deal, I see everywhere at work the hand of Christ blessing His Church. In Mexico the ordinary people drove from the churches the reforming clergy who, won over by the so-called liberation theology, wanted to throw out the statues of the saints. “It’s not the statues who are going, it’s you.” Political circumstances have prevented us from opening a priory in Mexico; so faithful priests travel out from a center at El Paso near the frontier in the United States. The descendants of the Cristeros welcome them warmly and offer them their churches. I have administered 2500 confirmations there at the request of the people.

In the United States, young married couples with their numerous children flock to the Society’s priests. In 1982 in that country I ordained the first three priests trained entirely in our seminaries. Groups of traditionalists are on the increase whereas the parishes are declining. Ireland, which has remained refractory towards the novelties, has been subject to the reforms since 1980, altars having been cast into rivers or re-used as building material. Simultaneously, traditionalist groups have formed in Dublin and Belfast. In Brazil, in the diocese of Campos of which I have already spoken, the people have rallied around the priests evicted from their parishes by the new bishop, with processions of 5,000 and 10,000 people taking to the streets.

It is therefore the right road we are following; the proof is there, we recognize the tree by its fruits. What the clergy and the laity have achieved in spite of persecution by the liberal clergy (for, as Louis Veuillot says, “There is nobody more sectarian than a liberal.”) is almost miraculous. Do not let yourself be taken in, dear reader, by the term “traditionalist” which they would have people understand in a bad sense. In a way, it is a pleonasm because I cannot see who can be a Catholic without being a traditionalist. I think I have amply demonstrated in this book that the Church is a tradition. We are a tradition. They also speak of “integrism.” If by that we mean respect for the integrality of dogma, of the catechism, of Christian morality, of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then yes, we are integrists. And I do not see how one can be a Catholic without being an integrist in that sense of the word.

It has also been said that after me, my work will disappear because there will be no bishop to replace me. I am certain of the contrary; I have no worries on that account. I may die tomorrow, but the good Lord answers all problems. Enough bishops will be found in the world to ordain our seminarians: this I know.

Even if at the moment he is keeping quiet, one or another of these bishops will receive from the Holy Ghost the courage needed to arise in his turn. If my work is of God, He will guard it and use it for the good of the Church. Our Lord has promised us, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.

This is why I persist, and if you wish to know the real reason for my persistence, it is this: At the hour of my death, when Our Lord asks me, “What have you done with your episcopate, what have you done with your episcopal and priestly grace?” I do not want to hear from His lips the terrible words, “You have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest of them.”   [Emphasis added]

21 La Riforma Liturgica: Edizioni Liturgiche Rome.
22 At present, in the year 2000, there are 135 priories, 6 seminaries, 75 schools, 3 universities, 3 nursing homes, 4 retreat houses, 4 bishops and 401 priests–ed.

 

Comment: 

I don’t think there can be any doubt in the minds of those who have lived through the years since Vatican II that the SSPX has, indeed, built up (and continues to build up) the Church at this time of crisis.  Thus, it is heartening to read this news of the Swiss diocesan bishop who has chosen to spend his retirement years  in the Society.   Will other bishops follow the example of  Bishop Huonder?

It seems very clear that the Pope is trying to regularise the SSPX in a variety of ways – is there a  local bishop in your neck of the woods who may assist this process?  Why don’t the local bishops invite the Society priests to (“Mass-less”) diocesan events, for example?  Would the Society priests accept? Is there, in your opinion, scope for a sort of informal regularisation within dioceses to help normalise the SSPX situation?  

Switzerland: knives out for papal nuncio – a “menace” with traditionalist leanings…

Archbishop Thomas Gullickson

BERN, Switzerland, February 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Swiss Catholics – or at least, the progressive fringe of Swiss German-speaking Catholics – are angry at the recent nomination of a new papal nuncio to Bern, and they are making themselves heard. In an open letter to the new ambassador of the Holy See, the canon and co-dean of Bern, Fr. Christian Schaller, hoped that Archbishop Thomas Gullickson would show enough “sensitivity in order to perceive the realities of the Church in Switzerland” and accused him of “pastoral imprudence” in proposing to shut down parishes without priests. Behind a pleasant appeal to a “meeting” and an end to mutual “prejudice” lurks a condemnation of Archbishop Gullickson’s purported preference for the traditional teachings of the Church, especially in the moral sphere.

The letter was the last in a series of critical moves against the American nuncio whose previous post, in Ukraine, had put him in touch with starker realities.

A group of lay Catholic “reformers” formed an alliance called “Enough!” in the wake of articles in the Swiss media in January portraying Gullickson’s latest actions proving that he is an “anti-liberal.” Things got even worse from their point of view last week, when he retweeted an article in which Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru, called UN bureaucrats promoting the legalization of abortion because of the Zika virus scare “Herods in suits and ties.” Gullickson has never hidden his preference for reverent liturgy, the Latin Mass, and other signs of traditionalism that have led his Swiss detractors to accuse him of being a follower of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X.

The twelve Catholic groups forming the alliance claim to be working for a “liberating and inclusive Church.” Late last month, “Enough!” wrote an open letter to the president of the Swiss Federal Council, Johann Schneider-Ammann, asking him to intervene in order to obtain Archbichop Gullickson’s revocation, accusing him of “hate speech” and of constituting a menace for the unity of the Swiss Church.

Markus Arnold, head of the Religious Education Department of Lucerne University, signed the letter asking the Swiss president “not to allow Gullickson to have a long-term, poisonous effect on the climate in Switzerland”: “We have enough problems with religious fanaticism as it is. We do not need a nuncio who wants to revive this fanaticism in the Catholic church,” he wrote. He accused Gullickson of “radical 19th century preaching.”

All accuse the archbishop of opposing the Second Vatican Council which “condemned,” they say, the anti-liberalism of the Pius popes.

What authority would the Swiss president have to intervene in affairs that are so very clearly internal to the Catholic Church?  Archbishop Gullickson calls himself an “ultramontanist” – that is, a Catholic faithful to Rome. But why should the president of a lay country be angry about that? The unity of Catholics in Switzerland is all the less a concern of Schneider-Ammann that Switzerland is decidedly multi-denominational. The presence of more traditionally-minded Catholics would merely be one more variety of Christian beliefs.

But Archbishop Gullickson has been critical of the pope, according to “Enough!” Erwin Koller, president of the Herbert-Haag-Foundation for Freedom in the Church, called the nuncio’s supposed attitude toward Pope Francis “offensive”: “If a Swiss diplomat had said such things about the Swiss government, he would long since have been dismissed.” But Gullickson’s attitude to Rome – which is sometimes critical, but certainly not offensive towards the pope – is obviously no business of the Swiss government.

What a number of Swiss Catholics don’t like is in fact the way in which Gullickson portrays several problems in the Catholic Church in Switzerland: he “disseminates blogs which accuse the German bishops’ conference of being heretical and has a predilection for linking ultra-conservative texts in his blogspot,” complained the former Abbot of Einsiedeln,  Benedictine monk Martin Werlen, shortly after the new nuncio took up his new functions in October.

The Swiss Catholic Women’s League also asked for the support of Parliament member Doris Leuthard, who is a member of their association, in asking for Gullickson’s removal.

One of the main reasons for all this agitation is that the conservative-minded Bishop Vitus Huonder of Coire will be 75 in 2017 and will have to present his resignation. The papal nuncio has a first-hand role in the nomination of his successor. Swiss progressives are afraid he will be replaced by a prelate who will reiterate Huonder’s statements on the sinfulness of homosexuality. Archbishop Huonder went on record as saying that homosexuals – as well as couples living together outside marriage – may not receive Holy Communion.

Coupled with fears that Gullickson will destroy “ecumenical” relations with Swiss Protestants, these concerns are putting German Swiss Catholics very much in line with the mainstream media. They are apparently very happy with their own situation, as depicted by the new nuncio – dwindling vocations, progressive morality, empty churches and priestless parishes.

A Dominican priest, Viktor Hofstetter, wrote a comment in the press asking Gullickson to read Pope Francis’ catalogue of sins as exposed to the Curia last year.  Source

Comment:

It’s a mystery – it really is. The hierarchy is thickly populated with outright modernists running the show, just about everywhere you care to look. So, why do they react so furiously when there is the odd “traditional leaning” prelate appointed here and there?  What’s their problem?