Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bishop Fellay and the SSPX

A so called "traditionalist" made a claim to me recently that the SSPX did not accept the authority of the 1949 letter of the Holy Office to Father Feeney. I responded by giving him the text from Archbishop Lefebvre that I quoted in an earlier post. He asserted that while Archbishop Lefebvre accepted the letter, nevertheless the SSPX did not. Of course he offered no evidence of this.

I would like to take this opportunity to expand on my earlier post on Archbishop Lefevbre, and show that the SSPX continues to hold his position. This should be of value for those who think this position is heretical, especially as the SSPX begins doctrinal discussions with the Church. If this position is heretical, as some people make out (the traditionalist I mentioned earlier asserted that I was a "modernist heretic" for holding this position), then presumably the SSPX will be forced to recant their position on this before being reconciled with the Church.

First, the SSPX on their website have a page treating of Father Feeney's errors: http://www.sspx.org/miscellaneous/fr_feeney_catholic_doctrine.htm
They make it quite clear here that they do not follow Fr. Feeney's errors. They even finish the article by quoting the 1949 letter of the Holy Office! So much for not accepting it. Bishop Fellay a few years ago made this statement:

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Conference in Denver, Co., Feb. 18, 2006: “We know that there are two other baptisms, that of desire and that of blood. These produce an invisible but real link with Christ but do not produce all of the effects which are received in the baptism of water… And the Church has always taught that you have people who will be in heaven, who are in the state of grace, who have been saved without knowing the Catholic Church. We know this. And yet, how is it possible if you cannot be saved outside the Church? It is absolutely true that they will be saved through the Catholic Church because they will be united to Christ, to the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Catholic Church. It will, however, remain invisible, because this visible link is impossible for them. Consider a Hindu in Tibet who has no knowledge of the Catholic Church. He lives according to his conscience and to the laws which God has put into his heart. He can be in the state of grace, and if he dies in this state of grace, he will go to heaven.” (The Angelus, “A Talk Heard Round the World,” April, 2006, p. 5.)

This is basically identical to what Archbishop Lefevbre said in "An Open Letter to Confused Catholics." Hence, we see there is no grounds for those make assertions such as the "traditionalist" I mentioned previously. The motivation seems to be to try and gather as much support for their position as possible, especially from those they consider to be more traditional.

Whatever other errors the SSPX may have made, this was not one of them.

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