Rome and the SSPX negotiations


Will Rome and the SSPX reconcile? It's a good question. Like many traditionalists, I've been following the current reconciliation talks. I think slowing down the talks was a good idea. This way nobody feels rushed or pressured except by their own conscience. This way important differences can be discussed in more depth.

That being said, I would caution anyone against reading too much into the day-to-day rumors. I think these are like polls before an election. It is not the daily news reports that matter since they are simply snapshots of an overall process. So being at 50% in the polls is bad if you were at 55 last week and 60 the week before, but good if you were at 45 last week and 40 the week before. But you will get a lot 47s and 53s thrown in.

What matters is the overall trend. I think it is hopeful. First, I think there's an appearance that Pope Benedict is much more nuanced in his understanding of the issues troubling the SSPX. Plus, given their cultural background, there's probably much more of a natural affinity between Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay.

Secondly, while the SSPX continues to voice many of its longstanding concerns, I find that the SSPX is much more careful to state its respect for Rome's authority. I also see the SSPX curbing many of its past literary excesses when speaking of the Pope, the bishops, Vatican II, the Novus Ordo, etc. In fact, the SSPX just published a major study defending the validity of the Novus Ordo rite of ordination.

Thus the day-to-day articles are for better or for worse, but the overall trend is hopeful in my opinion. Yet many differences ramain that on the surface appear irreconcilable. Thus the best thing we can do as Christ's faithful is to offer our prayers and fasting to the Holy Ghost for Pope Benedict and Bishop Fellay. They will certainly need Divine guidance to negotiate any deal.


Pete Vere as well as his co-writer Patrick Madrid is on record as saying the SSPX is in schism and excommunicated. Are we to assume this is still their opinion and judgment of this group?

If things have change what has resulted in the change? Surely a few softer posts from the SSPX is not enough. I do not know of a single thing they have changed in their view. Even the recent pronouncement that the new rite for Bishop is valid is no real change on their part. The worst they have said in that matter is there is doubt and advised prudence. The elevation of Pope Benedict XVI forced them into making a stand that they were obviously going to do sometime in the future anyway. After all if the new rite is not valid than there is no Cardinals therefore there is no Pope so who were they expecting to get back to union? Which is a basic goal of theirs. This was to be expected and for a very long time, it is no change in substance on their part.

So what has changed? So far I see no change from SSPX of substance but I do notice a person calling himself Pete Vere is posting on a website called Angelqueen. It is a traditional Catholic website (at least that is what the owner claims) For some reason the website is banning people for wanting to press this person for the stand taken by Pete Vere. It seems fair to ask him a few questions about his past and present attitude toward SSPX. Perhaps he would be willing to do this for me now since it seems forbidden at AQ?

The last rumor about the case is that Pope Benedict will take Bp. Fellay and his fellow SSPX bishops at their word when they say they want to be in communion with him, and will lift the excommunications.

If any members of the SSPX were to refuse communion with the Pope, they would be defining themselves as out of communion.

Re: "The last rumor about the case is that Pope Benedict will take Bp. Fellay and his fellow SSPX bishops at their word when they say they want to be in communion with him, and will lift the excommunications."

Am I to take this as an answer to my question? Should I read this as you think they are in schism and excommunicated? Sorry to be picky but it is an answer where one can reach a "yes" or a "no" maybe even both. I agree there are loads of rumors and many of them revolved about a statement on the alleged excommunications, but as I understand it, Pete Vere is on record that they are excommunicated. My question is does he still say that now. I know what he said some months ago when his book "More Catholic than the Pope" came out. I would like to know his present position. It is real simple just three to four words will do for the basic question. Here are two examples.

1. They are excommunicated.

2. They are not excommunicated.

Re: "If any members of the SSPX were to refuse communion with the Pope, they would be defining themselves as out of communion."

I am not sure of this but as I understand it they are willing to do so but not in the new rite. A quibble in some people's eyes but if the Pope was to invite a SSPX Priest or Bishop to assist with an Mass in the 1962 Rite they are able to do so. Since that rite is accepted by Rome and in practice in Indult Churches around the world as well as SSPX I would have to say they are in communion (but that is just me).

The problem seems to be the rite Rome wants them to assist. Again where are you? Are they in communion or not?

A person calling himself Pete Vere is posting on a site that "claims" to be pro-SSPX. I suspect there is a reason and I was interested in the reasons for the change. I can think of a few possibilities:

1. The person calling himself Pete Vere sees a sea change in the Rome/SSPX relationship and wants to be on good terms will people he has offended in his book. (a simple thing to do really)

2. There is a move afoot to manipulate the followers into favoring a deal. (Just so you know I would like to see a deal and have been expecting one)

3. The site owner of AQ invited Pete Vere because of an agenda of his own and is willing to hanner pro-SSPXers to get it.

4. A goal I have not thought of as yet.

The heavy handed tactics of the site owner of AQ has me suspecting the motives are not favorable. After all many followers of SSPX have a few bones to pick with Mr. Vere just as many in the Novus Ordo Rite have a beef with SSPX. Many in SSPX are more than willing to stand up to their past statements and answer the charges against them. They have often been the single voice on some "Catholic" websites that have banned them for defending their position.

I find it troubling that a website that claims to pro-SSPX is now doing just that very thing and in the defense of a huge well know critic of SSPX.

Oh course Mr. Vere could always do the noble thing and complain about the tactics used by Angelqueen's owner toward the SSPX people. Or he can hide behind the martinet and say it is not his doing. No answer or action on his part is the same as an answer in case you are wondering.

Am I to take this as an answer to my question?

Not necessarily; Pete can state his own views, and he doesn't check in every day.

The very latest on these matters from the Superior General of the Society can be found on

specific links are:

I guess it is fairly obvious the answer to my questions will not be coming from Mr. Vere.

I can only guess what that may tell us about the whole thing. But I will tell you it is not favorable in my estimation. And to think I was looking forward to an invite to go moose hunting.

Mark, given that you're from the old South, I'm not sure you would take well to moose hunting. It's not like deer hunting where you sit in a tree-stand overlooking bait in warm weather until a deer strolls along. Rather it involves spending several days chasing a 1200 pound bull through miles of semi-frozen swamp.

Leave a comment

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on February 23, 2006 8:09 AM.

Is abortion good for society? was the previous entry in this blog.

Showdown: Boston Catholic Charities to flout Church on gay adoptions? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.