This is an interview on what is the resistance to the SSPX leadership, why the resistance and what is its future as well as the future of the mainstream SSPX.
>> Okay, we’ll start with a prayer. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.St. Vincent Ferrer, pray for us. St. Jude, pray for us. Our Lady of Victory, pray for us. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us. Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. St. Ignatius, pray for us. St. John, pray for us. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, amen.
>> Padres, who are the resistance priests. Please introduce yourselves and explain how this resistance came to be and why have priests entered into resistance, disobeying your lawful superiors within the Society of St. Pius X.
>> So then we’re priests of the Society of St. Pius X founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970. And my name is Father Joseph Pfeiffer, and was ordained a priest in Winona, Minnesota, in 1994 in one of the six Society of St. Pius X seminaries and then stationed for about 11 years in the United States in various priories and retreat houses and then sent in 2005 to Asia to the Asian district of the Society, whose headquarters are in Singapore and there was stationed in the Philippines for a year and then again 3.5 years in India, and then back 1 1/2 years in the Philippines, and then this crisis of last year came up, the visible crisis of the Society of St. Pius X and ended in my expulsion from the Society of St. Pius X on October 4, 2012, an invalid expulsion but nonetheless the paper expulsion was given on that date. And since last year, myself and many other priests have been involved in this resistance against the new direction of the Society of St. Pius X.
>> My name is Father David Hewko. I was ordained in 1992 by Bishop Williamson. And I’ve always served happily in the Society of St. Pius X all my years, 21 years now, in the United States. And the crisis of the Faith is what alarmed me to react because the Faith was put in danger. The Faith was put at, as Bishop Fellay himself said some years ago, the Faith is put at stake with these false compromises with Rome and the steps towards changing the doctrine. So that’s what brings me to the resistance as well with the help of God and Our Blessed Mother.
>> Essentially, what has happened is that the Society of St. Pius X was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre at a time of crisis in the Catholic Church, a great crisis of Faith in which the Catholic bishops and the Catholic hierarchy of the Catholic Church were walking away from, going away from the Catholic doctrine of the last 2,000 years, bringing in the doctrine of Modernism and the errors of the modern world, making the Church one with the modern world, and this caused a loss of millions of souls. And so many millions left the Faith during that time, the ’60s until the present. So in the late ’60s, Archbishop Lefebvre founded an international seminary and the Society of St. Pius X to combat this Liberalism in the world and that the foundation of our Society is built on a combat against the errors of our time. Combatting the errors of our time by means of the preservation of the Catholic priesthood and all things with which the priesthood is related, which is offering the true sacrifice to God and resisting the modern errors in a combat against those things that are bringing souls to hell. The Society was faithful to this work for the last 40 years, but in recent years there has been a shift, a change, there’s like a shift that has been going on one path, has been slowly turned into a new direction. And that new direction became visible last year. It became public last year, and that is why approximately 50 priests stood up, not all these priests Society of St. Pius X priests, but other priests friends of the Society, but 20 to 30 Society of St. Pius X priests, and another 20 or 30 priests that are friends of the Society of St. Pius X, stood up and said no to this new direction and new theology. And the new direction is essentially the SSPX leadership and the new SSPX official lines of communication saying that the New Mass is legitimately promulgated, which was declared on April 15 of also year, 2012, in a letter sent by Bishop Fellay to Rome and it was that official doctrinal declaration was published in the official bulletin of the Society of St. Pius X in March of 2013, this year, to confirm this new teaching, that the Society of St. Pius X now accepts the New Mass legitimately promulgated, point number 7 of the third part in that document, and then also the new Society says that the Vatican II enlightens and endeepens the Council. We were trained when we were in the seminary us priests from all the different seminaries of the Society trained in the United States, trained in Mexico, Argentina, trained in France, trained in Switzerland, trained in Argentina and all of us were trained with the doctrine given to us by our founder and by the Catholic Faith and that is that the Catholic Faith is the only true Faith it cannot compromise with error and that Vatican II is a major compromise with error. And so there is the new teaching of the Society of St. Pius X, Vatican II enlightens and endeepens the teachings of the past, which is false. Tradition must be understood as the — in the light of Vatican II and Vatican II must be understood in the light of Tradition in such a way that there are no clear errors in the Council, where as we know there are errors in the Council; the New Mass is legitimate, and not only valid but legitimate. And the new Code of Canon Law is accepted in all its ecclesiastical laws, not only disciplinary laws which are not contrary to the Faith but in all its ecclesiastical laws. This is a major shift leading to Liberalism within the Society of St. Pius X and making us no longer stand up clearly against errors of the Council. Hence, we priests have stood up and resisted, spoke against an agreement with Rome, which was brought into the public last year, and this agreement with Rome would lead to a loss of Faith and the loss of souls and that we would lose our clarity as to where we were standing as Catholics, and this resistance, we stood up and resisted our superiors saying publicly what the traditional teaches of the Society was. The result was we were commanded each of us to be silent. We refused to be silent in order to defend the Faith, and then some of us were expelled from the Society.
>> Is the resistance still relevant given the recent retractions of Bishop Fellay vis-a-vis the June 27, 2013, doctrinal declaration? Hasn’t the SSPX leadership demonstrated its fidelity to the founder’s principles by this declaration and, thus rendered the resistance as Father Themann calls it a mere meaningless resistance to what?
>> There have been in the last couple of months signs of a stepping back, of a seeming stepping back from this agreement with Rome and this seeming stepping back from the liberal statements of last year where Bishop Fellay has said I never intended to change the position of Archbishop Lefebvre, I mean to following the founder, and he told some Carmelite nuns in
[ Indiscernible ]
, four separate times a few weeks ago, I never intended a deal with Rome. And so that — I never intended to have an agreement with Rome is what he told the Sisters which of course is the exact opposite of what he said last year. So there seems to be a retraction. However, when we look at the actual doctrinal content, we find that there is no retraction. And one of the important documents which I think will be very important for the future is this June 27, 2013, declaration of the bishops of the Society on the 25th anniversary. And this declaration has in it the new doctrine, not the old doctrine. One of the arguments of our enemies, the enemies of our resistance movements, is that this new declaration is a reiteration of the teaches of Archbishop Lefebvre and it’s a reiteration of the traditional teaching of the Society of St. Pius X and it shows clearly this new declaration of June 27th of the three bishops on the occasion of 25th anniversary, it shows clearly the Society is the same as it always was and there’s no change in that. And this is false. We go first to point number 3 of the 12 points of this declaration. point number 3 says, following Archbishop, we affirm that the cause of the grave errors which are in the process of demolishing the Church does not reside in a bad interpretation of the Conciliar texts, a hermeneutic of rupture which would be opposed to a hermeneutic of reform and continuity, but truly in the texts themselves by virtue of the unheard of choice made by Vatican II. This choice is manifest in its documents and in its spirit. And so when you first hear that, you hear the keywords, errors in the text and Vatican II. And so you think by when you first hear this number 3, well, hear we see that Bishop Fellay, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais and Bishop de Galleretta are clearly condemning the errors of the Council, but they’re not. What it says is, the cause of the grave errors is in the texts by virtue of a choice. The cause of the error in the text by virtue of a choice. Cause and effect are two different things.
You see that the clouds are the cause of rain. Cloud and rain are two different things. So the cause and the effect are not the same. And then never are the cause and the effect the same. So when we say the cause of the errors is in the text, it means that the errors are not in the text. It says clearly the errors are not in the text. The cause of the error is in the text by virtue of a choice. So also it says the cause of the error is in the text by virtue of a choice. If this were given on a, say, a religion test or philosophy test or English test, they would be given an “F.”
The author of this would be given an “F.”
Why? Because he mentions cause and he mentions choice. But he never explains what the cause is. And he never explains what the choice is. This is very grave. The cause of the errors is in the text. What’s the cause of the errors that’s inside the text and why is it in the text? Because of a choice, an unheard of choice made by the Council. This choice is manifest in its documents. This choice is obvious. But what is the choice? The choice is a decision, the choice is not a doctrine. So this is a very deceptive number 3, extremely deceptive. It gives one the impression that error is in the Council and yet it explains very clearly, there is no error in the Council, and furthermore, the errors referred to are not the errors of the Council. You go back to the first line. We affirm the cause of the grave errors which are in the process of demolishing the Church. That is, the cause of the errors today in 2013, not the errors of the Council in 1962 to ’65. So number 3 is very grave, very confused, very grave. And then also later on, we don’t have time to go through every mistake in this document. But we find that this document, this new declaration, affirms a new doctrine, not the Society of St. Pius X doctrine. For instance, number 6, religious liberty as exposed by Dignitatis Humani and its practical applications, these last 50 years, logically leads to demanding God made man to renounce his reign over man who makes himself God which is equivalent to dissolving Christ. Religious liberty in Dignitatis Humani and the practical application of today, religious liberty leads to demanding God made man renounce his reign. This is completely false. Religious liberty does not lead to God renouncing his reign. Religious liberty is a heresy condemned by the popes in the 19th century and religious liberty is a heresy that is the denial of the rights of God made man. It does not lead to the denial. You could argue, for instance, as an example, that the husband beating his wife and not giving money to his wife and being a drunkard may lead to the wife asking for a divorce. It may lead to the wife leaving the home. But it does not mean the wife will ask for a divorce. It does not mean she will leave the home. So if you say the religious liberty leads to the demanding that God renounce his reign, it means that religious liberty is not a denial of Christ’s Kingship and that is gravely erroneous and could also be said to be heretical. And then later on in the same number 6 we find a very grave indirect but clear attack against the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary for our times. Number 6 continues, in the place of a conduct which is inspired by a solid faith in the real power of Our Lord Jesus Christ we see the Church being shamefully guided by human prudence with such self-doubt that She asks nothing other than from the state than that which the Masonic lodges wish to concede to her, a common law in the midst of and on the same level as other religions which She no longer dares call false. So the new church, the Church today, now guided by human prudence and self doubt. That’s not true. The Blessed Virgin Mary said in La Salette Rome will become the seat of the anti-Christ, which means not guided by a human prudence but guided by a diabolic prudence. It is the devil who is fighting God. It is God who is fighting the devil. And here we see a human naturalistic explanation of the crisis in the Church. And bishops should not be communicating in the human naturalistic way. There is not a problem of human prudence.
It’s a problem of error.
It’s a problem of demonic prudence. So this is also very grave. And then also, the number 11, we pass over the others. Number 11 is simply a repetition of everything last year. Number 11 says, this love of the Church explains the rule that the Archbishop Lefebvre always observed, to follow Providence in all circumstances without ever allowing oneself to anticipate it. This isn’t good because one shouldn’t make a statement like this without giving an explanation or without giving an example. We should follow Providence, here’s an example of us following Providence, here’s an example of anticipating Providence. This statement is made without any reference or without any explanation.
It’s just an empty statement to follow Providence in all circumstances.
We mean to do the same, which means we intend to do the same, not we are doing the same, but we intend to do the same. Either when Rome returns to Tradition and to the Faith of all time, which would reestablish order in the Church, or when She explicitly acknowledges our right to profess integrally the Faith and to reject the errors which oppose it. Number 11 is very grave because it says, we are waiting for Rome to convert or for Rome to allow us to acknowledge our right to be Catholic and to condemn the errors. What are we doing in the meantime? Because Rome has not acknowledged our right, so what are we doing now? And also, why mention we’re waiting for Rome to convert if we’re waiting for — if we’re not waiting for Rome to convert? Number 11 says, we are not waiting for Rome to convert. We’re waiting for either Rome to convert, option A, or for Rome to allow us to have all the conditions we ask for in the six conditions of last year of 2012. We still want an agreement with Rome. If they convert, nice. If they don’t convert, fine. Conversion is not necessary. That’s the clear teaching in number 11, very grave. Archbishop Lefebvre, conversion of Rome is necessary. Now it’s not necessary. There are other points of trouble in this document. But this declaration actually of June 27th confirms the new doctrine of the Society and makes it more necessary for the priests of the Society of St. Pius X who wish to remain faithful to Archbishop Lefebvre to stand up clearly and condemn such false teaching.
>> What is the future of the resistance? Is there any organization or just a loose association of priests? And is there a seminary in the future?
>> We have two points. First of all, each priest needs to — and faithful when they see an attack against the Faith or wounding of the Faith, needs to stand up, even if they stand up alone. Like St. Jerome said, if everyone listens, I will preach the truth. If few listen, I will preach the truth. If no one listens, I will nonetheless preach the truth because I know that God hears and He will judge me when I do and asks, have you preached the truth? So first of all, even if there were no organization, it is necessary for every Catholic, faithful Catholic priest and faithful and Bishop, to resist the modern errors wherever they find themselves, even if that happens to be within the Society of St. Pius X. But the ideal way to do that is in an organization. We should try to establish an organization. We already have an organization. I am a priest of the Society of St. Pius X. Father Hewko and I are priests of the Society of St. Pius X. We are maintaining our statutes of the Society of St. Pius X. There’s no need for us to change those statutes. We simply continue the work of the Society. We were unjustly expelled from the Society. We’re still doing the work of the Society. So there does need to be a continuation of an organization. And we have had several priest meetings so far with some of the different priests of the resistance in Brazil, in Asia, in the Philippines, and then also in India and also here in the United States. And in these meetings, the priests have discussed the importance of keeping a connection together, keeping a kind of organization, and that there will be a continuation of the work of the Society of St. Pius X. Several different Religious have asked myself and some others to make sure that we keep an organization together. The key to this organization is that we have to provide a seminary. There must be a seminary. There must be a seminary for the training of future priests. At least 15 priests have told me that there is a need — absolute need for a seminary right away because we can no longer recommend sending young men to the six seminaries of the Society and because of the change of doctrine found within those seminaries; therefore, we have to establish a seminary. There have been more than 20 young men that have requested around the world for the starting of a seminary so we are attempting to establish the place which would be here in Kentucky, and then the priests, a few priests that will be helping in the teaching of the seminarians and then gathering the seminarians together with the support of priests in Brazil, in Mexico, in Europe and then also in the Asia. And so we depend on Divine Providence, the protection of Our Lady but we stand firmly on the truth and we have to continue moving forward in the truth. And in our combat, it must be noted as we are combatting the new leadership of the Society of St. Pius X, it must be noted that we are not against any individuals or any persons. We don’t have any personal gripes or difficulties with individuals. We are simply fighting for the Catholic truth, Catholic doctrine on the basis of Catholic truth and Catholic doctrine, against the modern errors in a way that is clear so that we can preserve the Catholic Faith and protect the sheep who have been calling us throughout the world to give them the clear doctrine without compromise.
>> If may ask one final question, Reverend Father Hewko, clearly this situation created by Menzingen troubles your soul deeply. Do you have any words of comfort at this time that you might say to your sheep that are looking for direction that just don’t know which way to turn or are unsure? Would you, please, give a few words of comfort to those sheep and some direction for them, please?
>> Well, like Father Pfeiffer pointed out, the diabolical disorientation that the Virgin Mary foretold would affect the Church, she is the only one that can help us. She told that to Sister Lucia, she is our last hope. So she gave us the weapons, the daily Rosary, brown scapular, should be very devoted to these and to be anchored in the Faith, to know well our catechism, especially the Council of Trent, the catechism of St. Pius X, the Baltimore catechism, also read. Do your homework on this crisis of the Church. Read the Archbishop’s writings, especially “They have uncrowned him,” that goes into the engine of the problem. It condemns religious liberty.
It’s clear that religious liberty is a direct attack against Christ himself. And that’s why Catholics have to rise up to defend the Faith. And this is a duty by the First Commandment and duty by our baptism, and with the help of God and the Virgin Mary, we will do what we’re supposed to do right now which is maybe not to see victory, but certainly to combat, certainly to fight in the trenches. The victory is in God’s hands.
It’s for us to fight now, as St. Joan of Arc said.
>> Thank you, and God bless you, padres.
>> You’re welcome. We’ll close with a prayer. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, amen. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, amen.
[ Prayers ]
I entrust this whole matter in the hands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “Mother of the Priest par excellence, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him, of all priests in whom she forms her Son”.
Santa María de Guadalupe Esperanza nuestra, salva nuestra patria y conserva nuestra Fe.