True Mission of Ecclesia Dei Commission


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The True Mission of the Ecclesia Dei Commission


There are some who claim that Francis has no intention of abolishing the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum once the FSSPX is recognized. While we can not say that it will, history has something to say about it.

Here is an article on the history of the Ecclesia Dei Commission and its mission, written by Father Guy Castelain (FSSPX) in his magazine "El Combate de la Fe" in March 2016. Reading it, we will understand that the Ecclesia communities Dei exist according to the SSPX, and they continue to exist because of it, so that if the Fraternity is "recognized" by Rome, these communities will no longer have reason to be.

In this regard, Dr. Peter Chojnowski, a renowned Thomist philosopher, writer and lecturer who has been a close collaborator of the FSSPX, tells us in his blog : " In 2001 I was told by a District Superior of the SSPX who had just met Bishop Fellay, who in turn had just met with Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, said that the Cardinal told Fellay that the plan was to have all the traditional groups under Bishop Fellay. When the surprised Bishop Fellay asked the Cardinal: 'And what about the San Pedro Fraternity?' The Cardinal said 'They will be under you!' However, the condition was that all four bishops of the SSPX should join together. This was in the time of John Paul II . "

"May all those who imagine that there is an identity of vocation between the institutes Ecclesia Dei and the FSSPX open their eyes. The Commission Ecclesia Dei and the institutes attached to it are a great danger to the work founded by Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre. They have the vocation to neutralize it, paralyze it and dissolve it "


On 22 November 1989, Monsignor Lefebvre said in an interview with François Brigneau on Radio Courtoisie: "Despite the persecutions, we can say violent, on the part of Rome and the Roman commission ( Ecclesia Dei, ndlr) that is In charge of the recovery of the traditionalists to submit them to the Council ... the situation is more stable, stronger, more dynamic than ever "(Mes derniers cahiers, première série, n ° 1, Pour saluer Mgr Lefebvre, par François Brigneau, Publication FB, p.35).

Monsignor Lefebvre rightly said: The commission Ecclesia Dei "is in charge of the recovery of the traditionalists". Today, this mission has not changed. This we must prove. To do so, it is necessary to go through the great stages that have made and make the history of the mentioned commission. Four documents must be taken into account: 1) The Charter of October 3, 1984; 2) Motu proprio of July 2, 1988; 3) the Motu proprio of July 7, 2007; 4) Motu proprio of July 2, 2009. The letter of October 28, 2013 from the Nuncio to the San Pedro Fraternity will serve as confirmation of the thesis.

1) The Quattuor abhinc annos Circular Letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship addressed to episcopal conferences on October 2, 1984.

This document predates the creation of the Ecclesia Dei commission, but it is extremely important. In fact, this will remain as the fundamental document that will inform the spirit of the future commission that will refer to it.
In 1980, Rome asked all the bishops of the world to make a report on the implementation of the liturgical reform wanted by Pope Paul VI. This report should, among other things, express "the difficulties encountered in the realization of the liturgical reform" and "any resistance" that must be "overcome".

After the replies sent to Rome, it seemed that the problem of priests and faithful attached to the Tridentine rite was, as it were, arranged.

In fact, the problem of the old mass subsisted completely. The modernist Roma realizing that he could not asphyxiate the movement in favor of the old mass, decided to try to take control:

"The sovereign pontiff, wishing to give satisfaction to these groups" granted the celebration of the Tridentine Mass "but observing the following norms," the first being: "Let it be clear that these priests and these faithful have nothing to do with those who They call into question the legitimacy and doctrinal correctness of the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970 and that his position be unambiguously and publicly recognized. "

Therefore it was well established that a priest could not benefit from the old Mass except on the condition of abandoning the combat against the Mass of Paul VI, and that this position was public and known to all.

On the other hand, this concession should be "used without prejudice to the observance of the liturgical reform in the life of ecclesial communities." It was also clear that this concession could not claim to supplant the Mass of Paul VI and that it should preserve all its rights of liturgical "primacy".

It is necessary to draw several conclusions from this pardon: 1) Its publication made the whole world believe that the Mass of St. Pius V was forbidden, since it was not and could not be (Benedict XVI's document of 7 July 2007 confessed it ); (2) he therefore believed that special permission was necessary to celebrate the old Mass; 3) far from being liberated, the old Mass was, due to the conditions to be met to benefit from it, instrumented to achieve the acceptance of the new Mass of Paul VI.

This pardon was then a "doctrinal trap." Thus, those who pretended to enjoy the Mass of St. Pius V "legally" actually made a "legal" profession of officially accepting the new Mass they had rejected up to that point. Consequently, this Motu proprio , far from being a victory for the supporters of the ancient liturgy, was in fact a victory of the modernist Rome in favor of the conciliar liturgical reform. It was clear then that the SSPX could not in any way avail itself of such pardon. The priests of this Fraternity should never ask permission to celebrate their Mass in a church or a sanctuary based on this pardon. The conditions imposed, however, prohibited them from obtaining this faculty, since their position regarding the new Mass did not allow them to meet the requirements.

2) The Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei of July 2, 1988, in the form of motu proprio of Pope John Paul II.

Ecclesia Dei are the first two words of a text published by Rome the day after the alleged excommunication of Monsignor Lefebvre. Indeed, on June 30, 1988, the bishop proceeded to what he called "the survival operation of the Tradition" consecrating four bishops to whom he did not give them jurisdiction. These, supported by the principles of the canonical law of the Church, were to ensure a substitution (provided for by ecclesiastical law in various matters) in the midst of the conciliar crisis for the preaching of the faith, the administration of the sacrament of Confirmation and Sacrament of order.

Excommunication, while existing on paper, was in reality devoid of foundation. Monsignor Lefebvre, before consecrating, studied and studied the old canon law to ensure that he acted according to the Spirit of the Church contained in this axiom: Supreme lex, salus animarum . In 1995 Fr. Murray's thesis even had the audacity to prove that, according to John Paul II's new right, excommunication was not founded!

The excommunication of 1 July 1988

On July 1, 1988, the decree Dominus Marcellus Lefebvre unjustly excommunicated both the consecrated bishop and the four consecrated bishops from the point of view of canon law of 1917 and the new one of 1983.

Excommunication null and void, ghost excommunication, paper excommunication playing the role of scarecrow to cause fear to the poor people who had rediscovered hope in the Church thanks to the Athanasius of the twentieth century.

The Motu proprio Ecclesia Dei of July 2

The scarecrow was to fulfill its effective role in precipitating the good people, the formalists and the fearful ones in the "open arms" of the conciliar Rome: the threat of schism and therefore the fear of the eternal loss of its soul. Everything went then to effectively remove them from the Fraternity of Mons. Lefebvre and take them forever towards the Conciliar Church.

Thus John Paul II decreed the institution of a commission for those "who wish to remain united to the successor of Peter in the Catholic Church, preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions."

Therefore it was absolutely a commission of recovery of the faithful and priests who had frequented the SSPX.

The effects were clear: clergymen, more formalists than canonists, believed it their duty to leave the Fraternity of Monsignor Lefebvre to found the St. Peter's Fraternity in order to be "in legality." Conciliar legality, needless to say.

They were welcomed by a commission bearing a name composed of the three words from the beginning of the letter which was the origin of this commission: Ecclesia Dei afflicta . That is: The Church of God is afflicted ... Distressed for what? For the alleged schism of Monsignor Lefebvre, a schism that no one could ever prove or prove, and which many specialists have denied.

It was for these priests to accept to submit to a conciliar commission and, from this fact, to go against the spirit of the law: "He who, by keeping the letter of the law, goes against the spirit of the law, has sinned against the Law "( Regula juris 88 ). By formalism, he committed a kind of "legal sin": a sin against the law under the pretext of being in order with her.

Disconnect from the FSSPX

I do not intend here to make a complete analysis of this Motu proprio of 1988. All paragraphs deserve not only a comment but a severe criticism, both the presentation they make of the facts is contrary to reality.

I would simply like to draw attention to John Paul II's call to dissociate himself from the FSSPX in this document: "In the present circumstances, I wish above all to address a call that is both solemn and fervent, paternal and fraternal, to all who Have hitherto been linked in various ways with the activities of Archbishop Lefebvre to fulfill the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church and to cease to hold whatever reprehensible way of acting. All should know that formal adherence to the schism constitutes a grave offense against God and carries with it the excommunication duly established by the law of the Church "(§ 5, c).

As explained above, in compensation for this separation "a Commission is set up, with the task of collaborating with the bishops, with the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and with interested circles, to facilitate the full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, Communities, religious or religious, which until now were linked in different ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre and who wish to remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church, preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions "(§6, a).

The mission of the Ecclesia Dei commission is therefore very clear: to combat the spiritual health work of the founding bishop of the SSPX. Then he had reason to say that the Ecclesia Dei commission was "charged with the recovery of the traditionalists."

From 1984 to 1988: same combat

Another extremely important point is that the motu proprio of July 2, 1988 states in point 6 c: "the sensitivity of all those who feel united to the Latin liturgical tradition must be respected everywhere, by means of a broad And generous application of the norms emanated some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.

This paragraph refers to footnote 9, which refers to the document of October 3, 1984: Cf. Congregation for Divine Worship, Letter Quattuor abhinc annos , 3 October 1984: AAS 76, 1984, 1.088 -1.089. It is clear then that the commission Ecclesia Dei continued in its original line: they will only be in legality if they no longer fight the Mass of Paul VI, if they do not damage the conciliar liturgical reform and if their position is publicly known all over the world.
So the commission Ecclesia Dei had as its purpose:

1) To marginalize the work of Monsignor Lefebvre and make it inaccessible; 2) to remove the priests and the faithful from it; 3) to make the new Mass accepted by all recalcitrants; 4) no longer allow anyone the exclusivity of the old Mass; 5) and finally, to stop the combat of the Tradition. Ecclesia Dei became the refuge of Catholics who "prefer the old Mass" for personal taste, but have ceased the good fight that consists in rejecting the new mass for reasons of faith and preserving the old for the same reason.

For or against the FSSPX

Since then the question of an " Ecclesia Dei option" has been raised, which finally resulted in a dilemma "for or against Monsignor Lefebvre" or "for or against the FSSPX". More generally, a false problem now appears: "in the Church with Ecclesia Dei , or outside the Church with the SSPX." Even simpler: Catholic or excommunicated. There was a false dilemma in conscience and, apparently, a dilemma in serious matters, which logically compromised the salvation of those who chose wisely. It was really nothing more than a scruple of conscience invented by the men of the Conciliar Church to bring their liturgical revolution to fruition and to make Bishop Lefebvre's work disappear forever.

3) The Apostolic Letter Summorum pontificum of July 7, 2007 in the form of Motu proprio of Benedict XVI .

This document is what led many Catholics to believe that the Mass of St. Pius V had been "liberated". It deserves a comprehensive commentary. However, it is necessary in this article to confine itself to what follows.

After applying falsely to the new Mass of Paul VI everything that could be said with all truth of the rite of St. Pius V, the pope recalls: "In some regions, however, not a few faithful adhered and continue to adhere with much love and Affection for the earlier liturgical forms which had impregnated his culture and his spirit so profoundly that the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, moved by pastoral concern for these faithful in 1984, with the special pardon " Quattuor abhinc Annos, "issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted the power to use the Roman Missal edited by Blessed John XXIII in 1962; Later, in 1988, with the Apostolic Letter " Ecclesia Dei ", given in the form of Motu Proprio, John Paul II exhorted the bishops to use this power generously and in favor of all the faithful who requested it. " The line of thought is clear: conciliar Rome is always on the path outlined in the document of October 3, 1984.

Twelve articles are forthcoming, the first of which ends in these terms: "That is why it is lawful to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass according to the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962, which has never been abrogated as a form Extraordinary of the liturgy of the Church. The conditions for the use of this missal set out in the earlier documents ' Quattuor abhinc annis ' and ' Ecclesia Dei ', shall be replaced as set out below. There are 11 articles that state the new conditions to benefit from the old Mass.

One might believe that everything had changed, that the old Mass was definitely free, since the agreed powers seemed truly "broader". This is not true, since Article 11 of the document states bluntly: "The Pontifical Commission" Ecclesia Dei ", erected by John Paul II in 1988, continues to carry out its mission. And it refers to note 5 which says: "Cf. JOHN PAUL II, Lett. Ap. In the form of Motu proprio Ecclesia Dei , July 2, 1988, 6: AAS 80 (1988), 1498. What is this mission? The one that is fixed in the document of 1988 already mentioned: to distance the faithful from the work of Monsignor Lefebvre and, with reference to the document of October 3, 1984, not to grant the Tridentine rite more than to those who do not question the New Mass, without prejudice to the liturgical reform and whose position is publicly known.

Article 12 provides that "The Commission, in addition to the powers it already enjoys, shall exercise the authority of the Holy See by monitoring the observance and application of these provisions." And in fact, articles 7 and 8 refer to the aforementioned commission in case of litigation in the petitions to celebrate the old rite.

The line is therefore always the same and the Motu proprio of 2007 merely expands the faculty of using the ancient rite.

For, formally, its use is always conditioned by the same principles and the same spirit: those formulated in the document of July 2, 1988 that refer to the document of October 3, 1984. Despite appearances, the old mass Was not liberated, is still captive of the conciliar reform and ended by a renunciation: to cease the fight of the Faith in regard to the mass of Paul VI and to accept in principle the conciliar liturgical reform. The Wikipedia article on this subject is not mistaken: "The provisions presented in this letter follow the logic of the previous texts Quattuor abhinc annos and Ecclesia Dei ."

4) The Apostolic Letter Ecclesiae unitatem of July 2, 2009 in the form of motu proprio of Benedict XVI.

In this document, Pope John Paul II's successor recalls paragraph 6 a of the July 2, 1988 document that "seeks to facilitate the full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, communities, religious or Forms to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre and who wish to remain united to the successor of Peter in the Catholic Church, preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions "(n ° 2). In doing so, the pope wanted to "enlarge and update ... the general indication contained in the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei " (n ° 3).

It is useful to underline here two significant points:

1. The commission retains its name of origin and therefore retains as its founding text the motu proprio of July 2, 1988, with all that it entails, especially its reference to the pardon of October 3, 1984. She then continues with her Original mission: to remove Catholics from the work of Monsignor Lefebvre;

2. Paragraph 2 explicitly refers to the document of origin: John Paul II, motu proprio Ecclesia Dei , July 2, 1988, no. 6: AAS 80 [1988] 1498. So this new document remains in line with 1984 and 1988. It is always the same war against the Tradition.

On the other hand, in this document, Benedict XVI makes a decision with great consequences. It wants to "reform the structure of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, uniting it closely to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." Here is the purpose of the letter: to unite the Commission Ecclesia Dei to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The purpose of this maneuver is indicated in number 5: "Precisely because the problems that must be treated today with the Fraternity are Of an essentially doctrinal nature, I have decided - in the twenty-one years of the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei and according to what I had reserved to do (cf. motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, article 11) - to reform the structure of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, uniting it In a close manner to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. " Under the pretext of focusing the discussions on the doctrinal level (which is just), Benedict XVI takes a measure that will force the SSPX to have as interlocutor, not to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but to a commission Which was founded to make it disappear! What is this commission? Ecclesia Dei .

From here, the SSPX will be forced to dialogue with its sworn enemy since July 2, 1988: the commission Ecclesia Dei . And this commission, we must remember, rests, as on its foundation stone, in the excommunication of Mons. Marcel Lefebvre.

5) The blessing of Pope Francis on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the St. Peter Fraternity.

The facts show that the commission Ecclesia Dei and Vatican II continue to carry out the same combat. In his letter of October 28, 2013, the Apostolic Nuncio of Paris, Luigi Ventura, assured the members of the San Pedro Fraternity that "Pope Francis joins the thanksgiving of his members for the work accomplished in the course Of a quarter of a century to the service of the ecclesial communion cum Petro et sub Petro ". What ecclesial work is involved? That which consisted, as indicated in the motu proprio of July 2, 1988, in separating the faithful from the SSPX to take them to the Conciliar Church. The pope, on the other hand, refers to the events that gave birth to him, ie the consecrations of 1988 and the excommunication of Monsignor Lefebvre: "It is at a time of great trial for the Church that the St. Peter Fraternity was born ".

Francis immediately encouraged them "to continue their mission of reconciliation among all the faithful, whatever their sensitivity." One can not logically deal with reconciliation with the Conciliar Church and the new rite. Here is the proof: "That by celebrating the sacred Mysteries according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite (Mass of St. Pius V) and the orientations of the Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium (arising from Vatican II), as well as transmitting the apostolic faith as Which is presented in the Catechism of the (Conciliar) Catholic Church, contribute, in fidelity to the living Tradition of the Church, to a better understanding and application of the Second Vatican Council. "


Monsignor Lefebvre was quite right to say that the Roman commission ( Ecclesia Dei ) is responsible for the recovery of the traditionalists to submit them to the Council.
The mission of the Ecclesia Dei commission, since July 2, 1988, is to reconcile the priests and faithful attached to the work of Monsignor Lefebvre with the Conciliar Church.

To this end, she continues her mission even now: the "recovery" of the priests and faithful of the SSPX and their friendly communities to stop the fight of the Faith.

May all those who imagine that there is an identity of vocation between the institutes Ecclesia Dei and the FSSPX open their eyes. The Commission Ecclesia Dei and the institutes attached to it are a great danger to the work founded by Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre. They have the vocation to neutralize it, paralyze it and dissolve it.

This is clearly inscribed in the founding texts of this commission. Contra factum, non fit argumentum. Against the facts, there is nothing to replicate.

P. Guy Castelain +


Deleted member 149

Excellent article.

Here are some other articles corroborating the Ecclesia Dei's intention to "neutralize" the SSPX.
This article goes right to the Vatican's website quoting popes, the declarations of Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, Archbishop Di Noia, and exposing the sspx/rome activities between 2000-2012​

Pope Benedict XVI, who was for years a member of the Eccelsia Dei Commission, said:
"But it must be stated quite clearly that it is not a matter of going backward, of returning to the times before the 1970 reform.

Advent 2012. From Archbishop Di Noia, Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, addressed to the SSPX General Superior and to all of the sspx priests, excerpts:

"Having received from the Successor of Peter this charge to be an instrument in the reconciliation of the Priestly Fraternity...

"...The authentic charism of the Fraternity is to form priests for the service of the people of God, not the usurpation of the office of judging and correcting the theology or discipline of others within the Church. Your focus should be on the inculcation of sound philosophical, theological, pastoral, spiritual, and human formation for your candidates so that they may preach the word of Christ and act as instruments of God’s grace in the world, especially through the solemn celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

"...Attention should certainly be paid to the passages of the Magisterium that seem difficult to reconcile with magisterial teaching, but these theological questions should not be the focus of your preaching or of your formation.

"...It has been a mistake to make every difficult point in the theological interpretation of Vatican II a matter of public controversy, trying to sway those who are not theologically sophisticated into adopting one’s own point of view regarding subtle theological matters.

"...The only imaginable future for the Priestly Fraternity lies along the path of full communion with the Holy See, with the acceptance of an unqualified profession of the faith in its fullness, and thus with a properly ordered ecclesial, sacramental and pastoral life."
(Archbishop Di Noia, Letter to Bishop Fellay and all SSPX members, Advent 2012)​

So is the union with modernist rome, so is the shared mindset and union for a "HYBRID" mass.
But what of the Prior Warnings and Condemnations of Vatican II and Ecclesia Dei?
The new-sspx has become a part of the conciliar circus. Just another pod amoung the others caged in a zoo.
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