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Fiasco of Fraternity of St. Peter



Press release from the Superior General of the Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. Bisig:

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter held a general assembly at Rome from February 8-11, 2000.  It was convoked by the Holy See, on account of certain internal difficulties.  At the end of four days of discussion and reflection an agreement was made as a basis for a reconciliation that would enable a greater unity to be found.

On the opposite column, we have an extract of a commentary of one of the sixteen priests, who signed the letter of appeal to Rome.

The terms (of the agreement) can be summarized in this way:  The Fraternity of St. Peter recognizes fully that its priests have the faculty to use the Novus Ordo Missae, according to the conditions given last Fall by Cardinal Medina.  Pergratum nobis est! The exercise of this "special right of every priest of the Roman rite" cannot harm the unity of our institute. This is the most important part. What follows is an unofficial commentary, although it has not been disavowed. But the content of the agreement is in itself scandalous enough: not only is the New Mass recognized as legitimate, but it is, for the Fraternity of St. Peter, the official rite of the Church.

Nevertheless, with the exception of the Chrismal Mass of Holy Thursday, on account of its special character, signifying the unity of the Church, the Fraternity’s priests have been asked to voluntarily renounce the right of celebrating or of concelebrating in the new rite, even on occasion. This is an agreement that ought not to be difficult for anyone, as soon as it is understood that it is the Fraternity of St. Peter’s agreement. We maintain our very real attachment to the old tradition, as well as our will to make it known and appreciated by a greater number of faithful Catholics.

On what do they base their attachment to the traditional Mass, if there may be exceptions?

The legitimacy of such an agreement requires, of course, that it be recognized by the Roman authorities. We submit ourselves, as in the past, to their judgment. This is, in our opinion, the condition for true respect for the spirit of the founders of our Fraternity, for which, without any doubt, attachment to Rome was more important than the preservation of a liturgy, as incomparable as it might be. This conviction brought them to the choice of 1988. For us (the SSPX), our attachment to the Mass is an attachment to the Church, to its tradition, which is to say, to the teachings of Jesus Christ. For them, it is a question of the spirit of the founders of their Fraternity. 

The attachment of the Fraternity of St. Peter to Rome is purely material and they refuse to see that Rome is being controlled by enemies, and that in being submitted to them, they are opposing the true Rome, the eternal Rome, the guardian of the truth.
We need to understand clearly what is at stake in the concelebration on Holy Thursday. We have been very critical of the modern liturgy, with all its disastrous consequences for the transmission of the Faith. But we easily forget abuses of another kind, for which the old liturgy was the pretext. They often led us to distance ourselves from ecclesiastical authority, and even to most preoccupying situations. Let each of us make reparation where he has sinned. It is for this reason that we expect concelebration more than anyone.  From our perspective, we greatly desire moderation in the new liturgy (for it is clear that we will not participate in any kind of ceremony at all), that it might again become apt to truly transmit the Faith.  They recognize that the faith is at stake, but this recognition has absolutely no influence on their attitude. On the contrary:  for them obedience is of greater importance than the faith. 

The traditional Mass is a pretext for abuses, and leads to our distancing ourselves from authority, from the Church! Now, it is exactly the contrary: it is the modernist authorities that are distancing themselves from Tradition and thus from traditionalists, and it is our faithfulness to the traditional Mass, which has nourished our fidelity and nothing else.
Finally, there will remain cases of real necessity. These are things that happen:

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead. And it chanced that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him; passed by. But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him; and seeing him was moved with compassion… (Lk 10:30-33).

This is the parable of the Good Samaritan.
We know the good reasons that influenced the men from the temple to turn away from this poor man; their rite, indeed a very old and venerable rite, forbade them to touch a cadaver under pain of impurity and of inability to offer the sacrifice that day (Lev. 22:4). They are not willing to take such a "risk", preferring to leave a man to die. As for our Samaritan, who failed to observe this kind of prescription through an inherited fault, he finds access to a truly new rite, that of charity. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. We are "bound" to the Tridentine liturgy, but there are special cases…!

Fr. Rene de Reboul, FSSP
But it is not a question of a cadaver, it is a question of someone wounded! This is absolutely not the interpretation given by the Church. The Fathers of the Church explain, on the contrary, that the priests of the Old Law were not capable of healing the wounds, which the bandits - the devils - had inflicted on humanity, because they foretold our Lord Jesus Christ but did not possess Him. When Jesus Christ came, He healed the wounds of humanity because He is the source of life, the Redeemer, the Savior. Now, precisely, it is the traditional Mass that gives us Jesus Christ, while the New Mass separates us from Him. If there is a comparison to make, it would be rather of the Samaritan and the traditional Mass on one side, and the priests of the Jewish law and the New Mass on the other. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Fr. Francois Pivert, SSPX © 2013                    home                    contact