Thursday, December 27, 2012

The SSPX is de facto split

Arch. Lefebvre lying in state

Bishop Richard Williamson, consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988, and subsequently expelled by the SSPX earlier this year, has preached a retreat between 17 and 21 December 2012 for the newly founded Society of St. Pius X of the Strict Observance (SSPX-SO). This event has signalled the de facto split between the SSPX under Bishop Bernard Fellay and a growing group of former SSPX priests. 

Bishop Williamson is now touring several independent (read sedevacantist) traditional groups, including the SSPX-SO, two religious communities in Brazil, and other independent churches and chapels around the world. The SSPX-SO has already received applications from men who wish to enter its seminary. The SSPX-SO has in fact announced the formation of a seminary for September 2013 in Boston, Kentucky, under the patronage of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

The SSPX-SO comprises a growing number of former SSPX priests in the United States, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Mexico and South America. Apparently, priests from Europe and Australia are also toying with the idea of leaving the SSPX and joining the SSPX-SO.

Such a scenario may lead to further divisions in the Roman Catholic Church, something unwarranted considering that negotiations are ongoing between the Holy See and the SSPX to heal the current situation. It could also be a blessing in disguise because certain ideas - like sedevacantism - have no place in the Catholic Church and cause unnecessary harm to traditional Catholics worldwide.