Bishop Fellay Petitions Pope Francis

For those of us who have been awaiting some clear, definitive statement from the Society of St. Pius X regarding the the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda and the impending Synod, here is Bishop Fellay’s elegant and heartfelt response, at last, from SSPX. I don’t know why it took them so long to post this!

15 September, Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, 2015

Most Holy Father,

It is with great anxiety that we observe all around us a persistent degradation of marriage and the family, the origin and foundation of all human society. This decay is rapidly accelerating, particularly because of the legalization of the most immoral and depraved sorts of behavior. Today the law of God, even the simply natural law, is being publicly trampled underfoot; the gravest sins are multiplying in a troubling way and cry out to Heaven for vengeance.

Most Holy Father,

We cannot conceal from you the fact that the first part of the Synod dedicated to “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” greatly alarmed us. From ecclesiastical dignitaries we heard and read statements so contrary to the clear and constant doctrine of the Church concerning the sanctity of marriage, that our souls were deeply disturbed. These men claimed to have your support, and their claims met with no public denial. What worries us even more is that certain of your words give the impression that it might be possible for doctrine to evolve in response to new needs of the Christian people. Our disquiet comes from the fact that in his encyclical Pascendi, Saint Pius X condemned an alteration of dogma that would make it conform to so-called requirements of the present time. Both Pius X and you, Most Holy Father, received the fullness of the authority to teach, sanctify, and govern in obedience to Christ, Who is the head and pastor of the flock at all times and in all places, and whose faithful vicar the Pope must be on this earth. That which has been subject to a solemn condemnation cannot, over time, become an approved pastoral practice.

God, the author of nature, established the stable union of a man and a woman for the purpose of perpetuating the human species. Old Testament revelation teaches us, in the most obvious way, that indissoluble marriage between one man and one woman was established directly by God, and that its essential characteristics were not left by Him to the free choice of men, such that marriage remains under a very special divine protection: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” (Exodus 20:17)

The gospels teach us that Jesus Himself, by virtue of his supreme authority, definitively reestablished marriage in its original purity, which the corruption of men had altered: “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6)

Throughout time it has been the glory of the Catholic Church to defend the human and divine reality of marriage against turmoil, despite entreaties, disregarding threats and temptations. Even though corrupt men abandoned her for this reason alone, the Church has always held high the standard of fidelity, purity, and fruitfulness, in short, the standard of genuine conjugal and familial love.

As the second part of this Synod dedicated to the family approaches, in conscience we feel it our duty to express to the Apostolic See the profound anxieties which seize us at the thought of “conclusions” that could be proposed on that occasion, if by some great misfortune there were to be a new attack against the sanctity of marriage and the family, a new weakening of couples and home life. We hope with all our heart that the Synod will on the contrary perform a work of genuine mercy by recalling in its entirety, for the good of souls, the Church’s salutary teaching on the subject of marriage.

We are fully aware, especially in the present context, that people entangled in abnormal marital situations must be welcomed pastorally with compassion, so as to show them the very merciful face of the God of love proclaimed by the Church.

Nevertheless, the law of God, expression of his eternal love for mankind, is in itself the supreme mercy for all periods of history, all persons, and all situations. Therefore we pray that the gospel truth concerning marriage, which the Synod ought to proclaim, may not be skirted in practice by numerous “pastoral exceptions” that would distort its true meaning, or by legislation that would almost unfailingly abolish its real import. On this point we feel obliged to say that, despite reminders concerning the indissolubility of marriage, the canonical changes required by the Moto Proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus facilitating declarations of nullity will de facto open the door to legal proceedings authorizing “Catholic divorce,” even if goes by another name. These modifications acknowledge contemporary morals without attempting to put them in accord with the divine law. Are we then not to be heart stricken by the fate of children born to these marriages annulled in haste and who cannot but be victims of the “culture of waste”.

In the sixteenth century Pope Clement VII refused to accord Henry VIII of England the divorce he was demanding. Despite much pressure and at the risk of an Anglican schism, the Pope upheld the sublime teaching of Christ and his Church concerning the indissolubility of marriage. Will his decision now be repudiated by a “canonical repentance”?

Throughout the world in recent times, many families have courageously rallied against civil laws that undermine the natural and Christian family and publicly encourage scandalous behavior contrary to the most basic morality. Can the Church abandon those who, sometimes to their own detriment, and always subject to mockery and taunts, wage this necessary but very difficult battle? Such a stance would constitute a disastrous counter-witness, and for these persons it would be a source of disgust and discouragement. Churchmen, on the contrary, by virtue of their very mission, should offer them clear support backed up by solid arguments.

Most Holy Father,

For the honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the consolation of the Church and of all faithful Catholics, for the good of society and of all humanity, in this crucial hour we petition you therefore to let your voice resound throughout the world with a word of truth, clarity, and firmness, in defense of Christian and even merely human marriage, in support of its foundation, namely, the difference and complementarity of the sexes, upholding its exclusivity and indissolubility. With filial piety we beg you to let your voice be heard by all, and that it be accompanied by actions too in support of the Catholic family.

We entrust this humble petition to the patronage of Saint John the Baptist, who underwent martyrdom for having publicly defended the sanctity and exclusivity of marriage, even against a scandalous civil authority in a case of “divorced-and-remarried persons.” And we pray the Precursor give Your Holiness the courage to recall before the whole world the true doctrine concerning natural and Christian marriage.

On the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, September 15, 2015

+Bernard Fellay

Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X

Heresy or Schism?

“The Pope during the Synod will show whose side he is on. If he accepts the statement of those who want to distribute Holy Communion to the divorced, there would be a heresy in the Church, and if he does not accept, there could be a schism in the Church.” Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga.

They have the buildings, we have the faith.
They have the buildings, we have the faith.

With those words, Archbishop Lenga spelled out what is at stake in the final Synod, which begins in a very few weeks now. In preparation for the Synod of Irreversible Change, the Bishop of Rome has  worked tirelessly to set the stage for these changes. On September 8, he issued two Moto Proprios, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus and Mitis et misericors Iesus, two documents cleverly designed to establish the Bergoglio/Kasper Agenda in the Church irreversibly.

On the same day, L’Osservatore Romano published an article by the head of the Pope’s Commission for “reforming” the matrimonial nullity process, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto. Pinto is Dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. For those seeking to understand the vast implications of this latest effort of our merciful Pontiff, Msgr. Pinto’s article is a good place to start. Thanks once again to Rorate Caeli for bringing this important article to us.

Rorate points out that Msgr. Pinto’s article indicates,

“We are facing not a mere procedural reform but a true revolution regarding the “divorced and remarried” and the Church’s very understanding of justice and mercy. The reforms are bluntly described as coming from Our Lord and from the Holy Spirit, acting through Francis. The ‘divorced and remarried’ are now redefined as forming part of ‘the poor’ for which the Church should have a special solicitude; anyone aware of the heightened place held by ‘the poor’ (e.g . the ‘preferential option for the poor’) in the post-Conciliar Magisterium should be aware of the magnitude of the shift involved here.”

And then Rorate remarks with their usual concision:

“Perhaps this is one reason why this commentary has been ignored by most of the English-language Catholic press and commentariat: it stands in the way of any and all attempts to pretend that it is still business as usual in the Church.”

And now, excerpts from Msgr. Pinto’s article, with my comments in red:

… But there exists an essential novelty that is defining Pope Francis’ actual mission. It is no longer time simply for analyses, it is time for action in order to begin that work of justice and mercy so long awaited – by re-ordering the pastoral practice and canon law, to a large extent in effect for almost three centuries. Francis had already announced this at that the beginning of his pontificate on July 28th 2013, at the conclusion of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.
***
So, with this fundamental law, Francis makes a real beginning to his reform: by putting the poor at the center, that is, the divorced and remarried, considered set apart and distant, and asking bishops for a true and proper metànoia. That is to say, a “conversion”, a change of mentality which convinces and sustains them in following the invitation of Christ, present in their brother, the Bishop of Rome, to pass from the restricted number of a few thousand annulments to that immeasurable [number] of unfortunates who might have a declaration of nullity — because of evident absence of faith as a bridge to knowledge and thus to the free will [necessary] to give sacramental consent — but are left on the outside by the current system.

Thus, Francis expects of the Bishops: “a change of mentality” in order to follow, not just the Bishop of Rome, but “the invitation of Christ” which he states is “present in their brother, the Bishop of Rome”. Thus, Pope Francis is claiming unequivocally that these changes are demanded by Christ who is speaking through him. No explanation is given for this change of mentality ordered by Christ speaking through His humble servant Francis, which contradicts over two thousand years of teaching.

And what does he claim as the result of this demanded obedience? It is, “to pass from the restricted number of a few thousand annulments to that immeasurable [number] of unfortunates who might have a declaration of nullity –“. So, that is, to vastly increase i.e., “immeasurable” the number of annulments. 

****
In the two motu proprios – placed by the Pope under the protection of the Mother of God – the diocesan bishop, or the eparch, is the anima (soul) of the so-called short process, which will be implemented in accordance with the strict conditions set out: the evident nullity [found] in the incontestable facts (already outlined above), the agreement of the parties (or at least the declared absence of the Respondent in the process), the immediate affirmative sentence, considering with gravity the writings [testimony or declarations] of the parties and the Defender of the Bond; or referring [the case] back to the ordinary process, if [the bishop or eparch], always assisted by the instructor and the Assessor, is unable to reach moral certainty for the declaration of nullity.

Here, it states that the Pope is placing these changes “under the protection of the Mother of God”. Sister Lucia spoke of precisely this sort of thing, “Let us remember that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit that we offend and despise His Most Holy Mother. We have recorded through many centuries of Church history the obvious testimony which demonstrates by the terrible chastisements which have befallen those who have attacked the honor of His Most Holy Mother, how Our Lord Jesus Christ has always defended the honor of His Mother.”

But how will the bishops or eparchs, most of all in large dioceses, be able to guarantee, at least in part and as a sign, their role as shepherds and judges? What is important is that the spirit of collegiality and communion among bishops under obedience to the Pontiff, begins to permeate the hearts and minds of the shepherds. The faithful are waiting with eagerness and love for such a metànoia and will nonetheless be patient in the Lord when faced with the good faith of their shepherds. The Jubilee Year of Mercy expects this sign of humble obedience (on the part of the Churches’ shepherds) to the Spirit who speaks to them through Francis.

Note the emphasis on the importance of “obedience to the Pontiff” which must “permeate the hearts and minds of the shepherds”. Repeated emphasis demanding obedience of the Bishops in this important matter.

The recent formation course of the Roman Rota in Mexico City offers high hopes, with the participation of around four hundred priests and laypeople, men and women from all the Central American Nations, sent by their shepherds and enthusiastic about serving the poor in their Churches, by assisting the judiciary ministry of their bishops. Francis sent a letter expressing his confidence that such courses can be multiplied as “a service of the Pope and particular Churches, remembering the first “Peter” according to the testimony of “his third successor, Pope Clement I, who, in his letter to the Corinthians intervenes by regulating the matters distinct (peculiar) to that local community”.

Note here the reference to historical precedent from Pope Clement I. A bit of historical precedent never hurts when you are obliterating two thousand years of doctrine and practice. 

***
In the case of evident nullity of marriage, the process is short – terms like “brief” and “administrative” need to be avoided – and here the judge is the bishop, who has two assessors with whom he discusses the moral certitude of the facts accepted for the marriage annulment. If the bishop reaches this certitude, he pronounces his decision, otherwise he defers the case to the ordinary process.

Note that it is stated that the preferred term is “short”, but not “brief”. Surpassingly odd don’t you think? ….

In the short process, appeal is rare, since the parties are in agreement and the facts about the nullity evident; and in the presence of elements that induce belief that the appeal is merely dilatory and specious, this might be rejected for lack of juridical conditions.

The ordinary process, on the other hand, may last a year at most, the double conforming sentence is abolished and in short, the non-appealed affirmative sentence ipso facto becomes (is) enforced. If an appeal is made after an affirmative sentence, this may be rejected in the case of the evident lack of arguments; for example, in the case of a specious appeal to harm the opposite party.

The reform holds in consideration the main reason for the request of the (declaration of) matrimonial nullity: this is requested for reasons of conscience, for example: to receive the Sacraments of the Church or to improve a new stable, happy bond (relationship), different from that of the first.

Note the stated purpose: the main reason given for the declaration of nullity is to receive the Sacraments of the Church or to improve a new, stable, happy bond different from the first.

In plain language then, the purpose of the declaration of nullity is affirmed to be to allow the couple who have broken their matrimonial vows to both receive our Lord Jesus Christ in Holy Communion and present the fact of their adulterous union to the community of the faithful as a valid marriage simply based on their desire to have it so.

We repeat:

“The Pope during the Synod will show whose side he is on. If he accepts the statement of those who want to distribute Holy Communion to the divorced, there would be a heresy in the Church, and if he does not accept, there could be a schism in the Church.” Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga.

And now, we must renew our prayers to Our Lady of the Rosary, Immaculate Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Church to purge the Church from error and defend the honor of the Bride of Christ so brutally betrayed by those claiming to be in charge.

UPDATE 17 September, 2015:  For an excellent summary, see Antonio Socci on Rorate Caeli here. An excerpt from Socci is helpful to understand the gravity of this situation:
“Sister Lucia, the Fatima visionary, one day said to Cardinal Caffarra: “Father, there will come a time when Satan’s decisive battle with Christ will be over marriage and the family”.
This is it.
If this is the hour of “the bishop dressed in white” there will be sufferings for everyone (remember the vision of the city in ruins?).

Sweet Heart of Mary be our salvation!
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!
Remember, pray the Rosary and confound satan!

~  evensong ~