On July 7, 2015 the Dominicans of Avrille published a position statement in regards to the SSPX. After reading it, I must say that I was disappointed. This position statement demonstrates the wishy-washiness of the yellow light position. I would expect by now, after the tsunami of evidence gathered over the last three years of the new direction of the SSPX under Bishop Fellay, that the Dominicans would come to hold the more logical and conclusive position, that is, the red light position. Below are my comments in red font in response to parts of the Dominicans’ position statement, which is in blue font.
The position of the Friary has not changed since the foundation of our community, that is,we continue the combat for the Faith summarized perfectly by the Doctrinal Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre of November 21, 1974.
“The contacts that the Society continues occasionally with Roman authorities have for their only end to help these authorities to reappropriate the Tradition that the Church cannot repudiate without losing her identity, and not the search for an advantage for ourselves, or to come to an impossible and purely practical agreement. The day when Tradition will once again regain all its rights, “the problem of our reconciliation will have no further reason to exist and the Church will experience a new youth”. (1)
We support therefore all the priests still in the SSPX who, not without difficulty, continue the good fight in this spirit. By the grace of God, there are a good number of them, especially in the French District of the Society. The Appeal to the faithful of January 2014 was not a declaration of rupture with the SSPX, but a “public testimony of our firm and faithful attachment to the principles that always guided Archbishop Lefebvre in the combat for the Faith”.
What? First of all, Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, no longer holds to the doctrinal and practical positions you’ve just outlined above, so how can you still declare that your friary is not in rupture with the SSPX? Secondly, the priests who remain publicly silent allow Bishop Fellay to publicly represent their position. How then can they be said to “continue the good fight in this spirit”? The internal resistance is dead. They will not change Bishop Fellay’s direction. The time for internal resistance is long gone.
If there are priests outside of the Society who, clearly and without ambiguity, continue the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, there is no reason not to support them. To support them does not mean “taking sides” for one Society against another. We have no intention to do anything “against” the Society, and do not wish its collapse : nobody wants that.
Priests such as Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer and Fr. David Hewko continue the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, including the doctrinal and practical positions you’ve outlined above, whereas the SSPX under Bishop Fellay no longer does. How then can you not “take sides”? The SSPX has not only collapsed. It is dead!
A suggestion for those who want to remain faithful to the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre: to the word “resistance”, we prefer the expression “combat for the faith”, not only because one does not define oneself by something negative; but because this expression exists since the beginning of Tradition, and includes all those who faithfully continue the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, no matter what organization they belong to.
“Combat for the Faith” is good, but Bishop Fellay now accepts Vatican II in the light of Tradition, so he is no longer combating for the Faith. And the overwhelming majority of the SSPX priests are going along either by their explicit approval or public silence. Therefore, the Dominicans should declare a “rupture” with the SSPX and adopt the red light position.
1. Abp. Lefebvre, Letter to Pope Jean Paul II, 2 June 1988.