Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Will the SSPX Now Flee for its Life?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 13, 2012

If Bishop Richard Williamson really is expelled from the Society of St. Pius X, he may well set up his own organization and take some people with him, as our news story suggests.

But that won’t keep the SSPX from being hoist with its own petard. Williamson has ample precedent for claiming the necessity defense and declaring that, no matter what anybody says, he remains a faithful bishop in the SSPX and in the Catholic Church.

Indeed, if Williamson, after being expelled, were to continue to claim he is either a faithful member of the SSPX or a faithful member of the Church, this would serve only to demonstrate once again the bankruptcy of the position of the SSPX with respect to the Catholic Church.

It will also demonstrate the Protestant-like separatism inherent in all movements which refuse to accept and obey the authority of the Vicar of Christ. The need to deal with Williamson ought to give the SSPX pause, prompting it to flee back to Rome for its very life.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Sep. 14, 2012 3:54 PM ET USA

    Jeff--Your comments are always made in charity, much moreso than many of my own. SSPX rejects the fundamental teaching of the Catholic Church--that Jesus Christ founded His true Church on Peter and his successors, and that He protects His Church from errors of faith and morals. The SSPX is on the same side as the Protestants, and they have already shown all the signs of fragmentation that accompany that separation. The salt is the salt of wisdom.

  • Posted by: Jeff Mirus - Sep. 14, 2012 3:44 PM ET USA

    To clarify my intentions for theeCassandra, my purpose is never to rub salt in the wounds. The quarrel with the SSPX, whatever has exacerbated it in the sins of men, has always boiled down to rejection of the Magisterium, including the Magisterium of Vatican II. My point is not to apply salt but to try, try and try again to make all those who are fatally attracted by the SSPX to realize, for their own spiritual health, that the SSPX is itself a serious wound in the body of Christ.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Sep. 13, 2012 10:18 PM ET USA

    The SSPX leaders will say they never left. It is largely their comfort in this position that has animated their communications and been manifest in their insistence upon patience in the discussions. As indicated above, nonetheless, the SSPX position cannot be permanent. Bishop Fellay concurred unambiguously over the summer. As time passes, there will be more "deviations" and more intransigence. And similar to the experience of the Church and her leaders, there will be more reality checks.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2012 8:47 PM ET USA

    Jeff, you're always particularly hardhearted with the SSPX and jump to rub salt whenever you can. In your writing you always fail to make any distinction between the SSPX's view of B16 vs their view of the Curia ("Rome"). I've said before B16 is the only man alive that knows the full story about 1988, and he as pope is doing everything he can to heal it while his Cardinals oppose his efforts.I wouldn't join the SSPX, but I'm not so quick to condemn.