The SSPX and the Electronic Grapevine | Michael J. Miller | Catholic World Report
Document leaks fuel speculation about schism within the SSPX on the eve of major CDF meeting.
A letter by the General Superior of the Society of St. Pius X clarifying his response to Rome’s Doctrinal Preamble was submitted to the Vatican on April 17 and now awaits review on May 16 by the “Wednesday meeting” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The cardinals and bishops of the CDF will discuss Bishop Bernard Fellay’s response, and then deliver their individual opinions and reasons to the Holy Father. After studying the dossier, Benedict XVI will decide whether or not to reinstate the Society of St. Pius X canonically as an approved apostolic society of priests in the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, two private letters written in early April—one by the three other bishops of the SSPX and a response to it by Bishop Fellay and his two assistants—were anonymously posted on the Internet. This was the first major leak from within the Society since they began their theological discussions with the CDF in 2009. The contents of the letters should surprise no one who has heard or read public statements by the same writers: Bishops Tissier de Mallerais, Galarreta and Williamson sternly warn that negotiations with Rome are a trap that will lead to assimilation and compromise with the principles of Tradition; Bishop Fellay urges his brother bishops to take a supernatural view of the Church and to consider the vast improvement in the Society’s situation vis-à-vis Rome in recent years.
The manner in which these two documents were leaked is itself newsworthy. Almost immediately after the confidential letters were posted online, a friend notified the editor of the Traditional-Catholic blog Rorate Coeli, who downloaded a copy of each. He reported the leak on May 9, while refusing on principle to divulge the contents. On May 10 he described the formats of the respective documents: a PDF file created on April 19 of the actual letter signed and sent by Bishop Fellay on April 14, and a PDF file created on April 5 of an unsigned draft version of the earlier letter from the three bishops (eventually dated April 7), together with a .DOC file containing an English translation thereof.