Leaked Internal Paper…
SSPX’s Fr. Schmidberger makes Case for Union with Rome
Former SSPX Superior General, Fr. Schmidberger, with the current one, Bp. Fellay
The Spanish-speaking “Resistance-SSPX” web site Non Possumus has published an internal letter of Fr. Franz Schmidberger, formerly the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X (1982-94) and currently the head of the SSPX seminary in Zaitzkofen (Germany), in which he lays out the case for full canonical recognition by Modernist Rome under “Pope” Francis and responds to various objections.
The three-page letter, dated February 19, 2016, is entitled Überlegungen zur Kirche und der Stellung der Priesterbruderschaft St. Pius X. in ihr (“Thoughts on the Church and the Status of the Society of St. Pius X in it”). Schmidberger essentially argues that reconciliation with the Vatican, while not without its dangers, would be of great benefit to the SSPX as well as the [Novus Ordo] church and allow the Lefebvrist society to shed its image of being “schismatic” and “rebellious”. He contends, furthermore, that there is currently no conceivable way in which the crisis in the church can be overcome without a regularization of the SSPX: Official acceptance of the Society by Rome, Schmidberger argues, would trigger a “salutary commotion inside the church”, leading good people to “receive encouragement” and bad people (i.e. Modernists, liberals) to “suffer a defeat.”
One particular point referred to in Fr. Schmidberger’s paper is the urgent need the SSPX has for new bishops. Schmidberger says:
In the coming years, we have an urgent need for new bishops. In extreme necessity, it is certainly possible to consecrate such without a papal mandate. If, however, one can consecrate bishops with Rome’s permission, one must ask for permission.
Non Possumus has translated the letter into Spanish and also provided the German original. A computerized (and therefore poor, and presumably from the Spanish) translation into English has been made available on the Cor Marieforum. UPDATE 29-APR-2016: A complete English translation is now available, approved by Fr. Schmidberger (see below):
- German Original of Fr. Schmidberger’s Feb. 19, 2016 Memo (PDF)
- Unapproved Spanish translation and commentary by Non Possumus
- Approved English translation by Richard Chonak, rev. by Michael J. Miller
Although we do not have the time to put up a complete and accurate translation from the original German into English, we can at least provide a translation of the one-paragraph conclusion Schmidberger gives at the end of the document:
If God wants to come to the aid of his Church, which is bleeding from a thousand wounds, in an efficacious way, He has a thousand ways to do so. Among these [thousand ways] is the official recognition of the Society [of St. Pius X] by the Roman authorities. Is the Society not consecrated to the Most Blessed Virgin, who will guard and guide her work also in a new situation? Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata — da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos, — Allow me to praise thee, holy Virgin; give me strength against thy enemies.
The bloggers at Non Possumus interpret Fr. Schmidberger’s letter as a sign of the SSPX preparing an “imminent accord” with Rome. Although this is possible, and it is obviously Superior General Bp. Fellay’s open intent to be accepted by Rome before long in one way or another, this leaked letter may be little more than simply the latest episode in the never-ending saga of the SSPX’s dealings with Rome (originally begun in 2005 after the election of “Pope” Benedict XVI), one that by itself is of little special significance.
Taken in context with other recent and and quite public devlopments, however, Fr. Schmidberger’s letter may indeed take on greater weight:
- Francis extends SSPX Faculties for Confessions beyond Year of Mercy
- Vatican: SSPX Need Not Adhere to All of Vatican II for Canonical Recognition
- Bp. Fellay: “We are on the Eve of Important Events”
- Bp. Fellay: “I was appointed by Rome to judge SSPX Priests”
It remains to be seen what will actually happen, but it seems likely that Francis is determined to do something big for the SSPX during his “Year of Mercy”, which ends on November 20 of this year, or, at the very least, before his false pontificate ends.