What about the FSSP?
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 Roman Mass.
Within two days of the consecrations however, 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 was being refused the archbishop. A dozen or so priests of the SSPX accepted this “token of good will” and broke away to found the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).
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), and,
- to profess 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 must have recourse to a Novus Ordo bishop willing to permit the traditional rites and willing to ordain their candidates. They reject the Novus Ordo Missae only because it is not their “spirituality” and claim the traditional Roman Mass only in virtue of their “charism” acknowledged to them by the pope. Note, for example, the Fraternity’s whole-hearted acceptance of the (New) Catechism of the Catholic Church (question 14), acceptance of Novus Ordo professors in their seminaries, and blanket acceptance of Vatican II’s orthodoxy (question 6).
This being so, attending their Mass demonstrates acceptance of:
- the compromise on which they are based,
- the direction taken by the Conciliar Church and the consequent destruction of the Catholic Faith and practices, and
- in particular, the lawfulness and doctrinal soundness of the Novus Ordo Missae and Vatican II.
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