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Thursday, June 17, 2021

If It Can Happen in Dijon....

Why is a French Catholic archdiocese expelling the FSSP?

After 23 years serving the faithful in the diocese of Dijon, France, the FSSP are being thrown out by the current bishop. The coup de grace comes as he nears retirement age and looks very much like a reprisal because the fraternity declined to concelebrate a Novus Ordo Chrism Mass with him during Holy Week. The FSSP only celebrate the Tridentine Mass. 

The bishop expelled the priests saying he is assigning a diocesan priest, but the situation for the parish is appalling. The new arrangement allows ONE Sunday Mass replacing TWELVE Masses that were offered every week by the FSSP. But read for yourself what the FSSP Superior in Dijon, Fr. Roch Perrel, told Catholic News Agency:
While saying that he felt “really hurt” by what he considered to be “contempt” on the archbishop’s part, Perrel argued that the faithful were the ones suffering most from the situation since the community is currently offering 12 Masses a week.
He said that from September diocesan priests would celebrate only one extraordinary form Mass a week, on Sundays.

“Not to mention visits to the sick and the poor, catechism classes for children and adults, sacramental preparation, the parish youth group…We’re destroying something that was working well, and it is a great loss for the local population,” he said.

Is this action by the French bishop the first (or second or third) domino to fall in a new attack on the Latin Mass? Putting it in context with what happened at St. Peter's and other moves by the Vatican, it appears to be another ugly storm cloud on the horizon. I wrote about this a few weeks ago:

Is Rome Getting Ready to Drop the Guillotine on the Traditional Latin Mass?

When our diocese (Arlington, VA) canceled Mass, we began attending the SSPX masses at the fairgrounds in Front Royal. Bishop Burbidge could have done the same thing since the state mandate permitted it and every county has a fairground. He chose rather to deprive the faithful of the bread of life and let us starve. 

After Mass was restored, we returned to the daily Novus Ordo in our parish, but decided that the debt of gratitude to the SSPX was so great, we could not walk away. And so we continue to attend the mission church for Sunday celebrations. We love the priests whose catechism teaching, homilies, and wisdom in confession is extraordinary.

As I said to my husband at the time, I was not only grateful to the SSPX for sustaining us during the famine, but saw them as an insurance policy. Perhaps a better metaphor would be to describe them as a lifeline. If you were drowning and a hundred priests were standing on the shore and the only one to throw a lifeline was with the SSPX would you refuse to grasp it?

After a year of attending Mass at the mission, we remain firmly committed to Holy Mother Church, the Bride of Christ, who is so dearly loved by the priests who minister to us. They are NOT in schism; they do not reject the Church. Their situation is irregular but not schismatic and all their sacraments are valid. Want to see schism? Look to the German Church which pretends to be in union with Rome. The SSPX are faithful sons obedient to Church doctrine and Christ's command to accomplish the Great Commission: 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I pray for the Church and the pope every day. So does the Society. Frankly, I'm not sure who the pope is. Theologians say a heretic can't be pope. Is Francis a formal heretic? I'm not a canon lawyer or a theologian. To answer that question really is above my pay grade. So I look to the three pillars of the Church: Scripture, Doctrine, and Sacred Tradition and cling to them. I wish Francis did! His legacy is confusion and chaos which are not signs of the Holy Spirit, but signs of the smoke of Satan. Can anyone deny that Rome is a seat of confusion and chaos these days?

Pray for Holy Mother Church, the Bride of Christ. No Catholic can separate himself from her without endangering his soul. Was Athanasius apart from the Church when he was excommunicated during the Arian heresy, when most of the Church floundered in error? Is the SSPX apart from the Church today when she flounders in modernism promoted from the very seat of Peter? 

I don't think so. 

Discernment calls us to pray, study, and seek guidance from wise advisers. And so I've spoken to wise priests (Novus Ordo priests as a matter of fact) and I continue to pray and study. I'm at peace with the decision to participate and support the SSPX. We also continue to support our Novus Ordo parish. But when registration begins at the chapel we will formally join. We have no FSSP parish in the diocese and aren't likely to have one. And we hunger for the full banquet -- all the sacraments in the ancient form practiced by the saints throughout the millennia. We want the Mass of St. Thomas More, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Philip Neri -- of Benedict and Scholastica, of the Little Flower and St. Catherine of Siena -- of the Mexican martyrs and the English recusants. 

I will attend a reverent Novus Ordo and often do, but I will never again endure a clown Mass, a polka Mass, a hootenanny Mass or any other gong-show abomination filled with liturgical abuses. 

We owe God reverence and worship with an altar of sacrifice rather than a stage for a showman complete with liturgical dancers and broadway-style, toe-tapping "hymns." I'm done with that. Give me the Mass of the saints and martyrs!

May Jesus Christ be praised in all His angels and saints!


Aqua said...

I still remember an extended conversation I had with my FSSP Priest, 5 years ago after the publication of Amoris Laetitia. My conviction that Bergóglio was not Pope was growing. My FSSP Priest disagreed and insisted I accept his Divine authority.

And so Amoris Laetitia happened. The conversation went something like this.

Me: “The “Pope” has granted the right of adulterers in a state of objective mortal sin to receive communion with Our Lord. This is impossible and intolerable”.

Him: “The Pope is not allowed to change constant dogmatic teaching. His exhortation is not authoritative”.

Me: “If he is the Pope, then it is authoritative to me and to my family. I am required to submit to the authority of the Pope. That is central Catholic dogma”.

Him: “This doesn’t affect you personally. Follow Church teaching. You know you are required to not commit adultery, so don’t”.

Me: “You are telling me to ignore the Pope”.

Him: “You know the commandments. Follow them”.

Me: “Well, what about my family? What if my wife has an affair and asks for sacramental permission to continue in it, while receiving public communion? The Pope gave her that permission. I may never know, as we walk forward together. What of my 18 year old son? He may be experimenting with sex and ask a Priest for absolution according to the “light of his conscience”. He has been granted permission by the Pope to go down that path, and I will never know, as we go forward together as a family”.

*This next advice is seared into my memory*

Him: “Don’t worry about things that are above your pay grade”.

Me: “Above my pay grade?! This is precisely within my pay grade. This is deeply personal. And what about you, Father? What if my family come to you, personally, with this information in Confession. You are required, by the “Holy Father”, to grant them Sacramental dispensation”.

Him: “This topic is a long way away from my Parish. I am required only to follow constant Church teaching. I need not follow this Papal directive.”

*This next, I will always remember because I KNEW where this was going, even though he apparently did not*

Me: “You might think so now, but he IF, IF he is the Pope, then you are under obligation to follow him as the Vicar of Christ, OR, OR correct him to his face, like St. Paul. You can’t just ignore Papal exhortations as if they were offered like just some dude. You may think his exhortation is far away and doesn’t affect you personally *in the Confessional* .... but I guarantee you it is coming for you. This threat is coming for you personally and one day you will not be able to ignore it. It must be dealt with - either now or in the future - because it is a simple fact. You accept the resignation of Benedict XVI, the subsequent Pope, and now you must accept his authority. The threat is real and it is here”.

This was a long conversation.

And now the threat is here. And it is as personal as it can possibly be, for all those who hold to Sacred Tradition. Honesty and bravery are required and there is precious little of it in the Church today. What has happened is an offense against God, God’s Dogmas and Sacred Tradition. Who in authority will speak against it?

The consequence of not acting THEN, is the loss of everything NOW. I believe that in my bones.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thank you so much for this, Aqua. Your logic is impeccable and the tragedy that is upon is enough to "petrify the heart." God help us and may we all stand bravely under the assault and continue to defend the truth.

Unknown said...

What happened in Dijon proves why the SSPX is necessary. Archbishop Lefebvre was right and will be vindicated in the future.

pt said...

Regards the Novus Ordo, ckeck out the youtube summary of Fr Cekada's book "Work of Human Hands."

you might reconsider attending that ceremony based on what you learn.

CorneliusG said...

I too assisted at an SSPX Mass in Falls Church, VA, and then later when they acquired a small chapel in Upper Marlboro, MD. I now assist at a diocesan TLM (it's only 10 minutes from my home). I agree with you about the SSPX, entirely. I'm so appalled by the man-centered NO Mass that I may never go to one again (and haven't been to one in years). If no TLM is available I'll perform some spiritual communion on Sundays.

Aqua said...

Went to Mass at an SSPX chapel this morning. Confession line was out the door when Mass began. The Chapel was overflow capacity. They announced an additional Mass to handle the Parishioners who are streaming in. They are planning on building a Priory, planting a Catholic flag in the great State of Texas. Vibrant life at our once little Chapel.

The homily today, btw, was profound. Our Priest explicated the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the Spouse, the Intended, who promises Himself now in the Eucharist as a foretaste of the marriage to come in which He is known ... just as we are known. We receive Him as our wedding ring now, but the marriage of heaven and all its joys is certain.

SSPX. God bless them, and all Traditional communities leading the Faithful to Christ with our brethren throughout time.