9 September 2006

New traditionalist institute founded

Taken from What Does the Prayer Really Say?

Friday, September 08, 2006
Vatican erects new Traditional Institute
Vatican – Agence I.MEDIA

Rome has set up a new traditionalist fraternity accepting former priests and seminarians of the Fraterniy of St. Pius X.

The Congregation for Clergy erected on 8 September 2006, a new religious institute, “Good Shepherd”, taking in former priests and seminiarians of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, separated from Rome since 1988, according to the information gathered by I.MEDIA. The seat of this new fraternity where the priests will celebrate Mass exclusively according to the traditional liturgical rite of St. Pius V could be at Bordeaux (France) at the Church of St. Eligius.

On the morning of 8 September 2006, Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, Dario Card. Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, also in charge of the Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, signed the decree of erection of the institute of pontifical rite of the “Good Shepherd”. This concerns a society of apostolic life under the guidance of the Commission “Ecclesia Dei” and also the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. In the decree Card. Hoyos approved the statutes of the new institute which will have as its superior a priest ejected from the Fraternity of St. Pius X, the ebullient Fr. Philippe Laguérie.

According to Vatican sources, the innovation rests in the fact that “Benedict XVI himself desired this approach” according to which “the traditional Missal of St. Pius V is not a separate Missal but rather a special form of the unique Roman Rite.” In the Vatican, as among the members of the new institute, it is stressed that “this accord corresponds to the requests once made by Monsignor Lefebvre”, separate from Rome in 1988.

The new fraternity counts among its ranks, aside from five priests, some seminarians assured to be ordained in the near future. Dario Card. Castrillon Hoyos has said he will celebrate the first ordinations. Those responsible for the fraternity also count on the fact that the priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X could opt to follow them and that they can found in different dioceses, “personal parishes”. In Bordeaux, Paris and other places, these priests are supported by a number of faithful attached to the Missal of St. Pius V, the liturgical rite in force before the liturgical reform of 1969.


In April 2006, at Lourdes, Jean-Pierre Card. Ricar stated before a meeting of the bishops of France that “the question of relations with the Fraternity of St. Pius X” merits “a special treatment”. “We know that Pope Benedict XVI is concerned about this” he explained, adding that, “in the weeks or months to come, he should be giving directives to facilitate a path toward a possible return to full communion.” “We will welcome these in good faith and put them into practice faithfully”, Card. Richard again shot at the bishops.

What is going on? Here are a few points.

1) There is some bad blood between the SSPX and the FSSP as well as (probably) the Institute of Christ the King, which makes the FSSP and the ICK less than optimal alternatives for men of the SSPX who want to be in union with Rome. This new group offers a fresh possibility for those who were in line with the men in this new group who themselves were tossed from the SSPX for various internal reasons.

2) This seems to be main a French reality.

3) Benedict XVI is using Cardinal Ricard, a member of the P.C. "Ecclesia Dei" to put head pressure on the French bishops who, in the past, have been terribly hostile to anything having to do with the older form of Mass, etc.

4) Benedict XVI is acting, chipping away at the edges.

5) Card. Ricard suggests that this move is part of Pope Benedict XVI’s plans for "full communion".

6) The fact that this group is for former SSPXers suggests that it is not going to be accepting new candidates who were not in the SSPX. Thus, this is aimed squarely at the SSPX.

7) Given the fact of the plenary of the SSPX and the contact Bp. Fellay had with Pope Benedict XVI, it strikes me that His Holiness belives that there is enough discontent in the SSPX, or enough harmony with the positions of the former SSPX priests founding this new institute, that it was time to "strike while the iron is hot" so to speak.

These are some initial impressions.

-Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf

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