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The year in review: SSPX-2012
Interview of Fr. Rostand by Angelus Press


Part 1

We present here a video interview of Fr. Arnaud Rostand (USA District Superior) conducted by James Vogel (Angelus Press Editor) on December 19, 2012 at the Regina Coeli House in Platte City, Missouri.

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Interview transcript

Angelus Press: Father, thank you again for joining us. It's been six months since the last interview. Since then, can you tell us what's new in the American District?

Fr. Rostand: Since last time, six months ago indeed already, the US District has received new priests. Young priests just ordained in June. Four of them came to strengthen our District. That's very good news and a big help, obviously. We were also able to open 2 new priories. Chicago first and then also Nicholville, New York. Two new places where priests reside and serve the chapel there and also other missions around. That's obviously a strength for the District.

I think I can also add that now the District is calm, despite the difficult times we went through last year. I can also notice that the unity of the priests has been strengthened. Every crisis has times where we unfortunately suffer and even lose some priests and so on. I'm sure we will talk about that later. But, every crisis is also an occasion to re-unify ourselves around the principles, the reasons of our existence and of our life, and the Society itself.

AP: So Father, since you mentioned the new priests and the new priories, could you remind us how many priests and priories there are now in the United States?

Fr. Rostand: There are 85 priests of the Society in the United States, helped by a few other priests who are working with us. And, there are now 20 priories in the United States.

AP: Speaking of the new priories, is it true that Chicago will be hosting the new home of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais?

Fr. Rostand: Yes. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais arrived in the United States in the beginning of December. He will reside now in Chicago. It's a blessing, of course, for the United States District to have a bishop amongst us. He will definitely help the District through his episcopal ministry. From there, also, he will continue his work all around the world traveling to places for ordinations, confirmations and so on.

AP: Well, obviously, the subject of Rome dominated the majority of our interview in June. The topic is still in the forefront of many of our viewers' minds. Can you tell us if there is anything new and where do things stand now?

Fr. Rostand: I don't think there's anything new, nothing that has not been disclosed already. The situation is that after discussions with Rome we come to a point where the conditions they want to impose on us are not really acceptable to us. Therefore, we are at, you could say, a starting point again. There were some changes in Rome; Msgr. Pozzo, as the secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, has been replaced by Archbishop DiNoia. And, of course, Cardinal Levada, head of the Congregation of the Defense of the Faith, has also been replaced by Archbishop Mueller, who is not a friend of the Society as we know. These put definitely a new team, I would say, in Rome, but at this point there is nothing more than that. There is nothing new.

AP: Father, in light of what you just told us, is it fair to say the Society has abandoned the question of canonical regularity?

Fr. Rostand: No, I would not say so. It is clear that the Society is not looking for the recognition as such. The canonical recognition is good in itself. What explains the actual situation of the Society today is the crisis in the Church. For decades we have been in this situation and that has led us to the situation we are in today.

You know if the Society was really looking for recognition, or a regularization, that would already have been done by now. The problem today is firstly a problem of doctrine and that's where the Society stands, has always stood before and continues to stand today, is in the defense of the entirety of the doctrine which is at stake today.

The difficulty we have with Rome today is because they do not recognize that difficulty and therefore each time we come to a point of possible recognition the same problem comes back and we cannot accept these conditions. These matters have been discussed during the last General Chapter and that's why we came up with some points that are necessary for us to move forward in the future.

AP: Can you discuss in some detail perhaps, the six conditions that were laid out by the General Chapter in July?

Fr. Rostand: Certainly. The General Chapter laid out six conditions for a possible canonical recognition of the Society in the future. Some are absolutely necessary conditions or points - sine qua non. The first one is the ability to keep the full doctrine of the Catholic Church while, at the same time, also the possibility of denouncing those who are promoting errors, heresies, even, in the Church. The second condition is the ability to use the 1962 liturgy which is also there to safeguard Tradition in its prayer life. And, the third sine qua non condition is a bishop; to have the assurance that the Society will have at least have one bishop to continue its work.

These three conditions which are absolutely necessary are related to the Faith, the liturgy and the safeguard of Tradition by episcopal power. Absolutely necessary for the survival, I would say, of Tradition. And then there are other conditions that are necessary, but can change with circumstances.

The first one is ecclesiastical tribunals that the Society would be granted at the first instance of these tribunals. This is necessary today that we may judge our cases, especially after the scandal of annulments in the last forty years. The next condition is the exemption of the Society from the diocese. In the actual situation of the Church, it would be impossible for Tradition to continue to grow, and even to exist, if we didn't have that exemption.

The final condition is an echo of the 1988 protocol. It's to have a commission, a pontifical commission, in Rome with the majority of members from Tradition, and even the presidency, from Tradition so that there is a way to be protected from the neo-modernist and neo-protestant tendencies in the Church today. We must look at these points and realize that they are much stronger than what Archbishop Lefebvre signed in 1988. I think it's a sign of the prudence of Bishop Fellay and of the General Chapter when dealing with this possible canonical recognition.

part 1

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