La Porte Latine, the official SSPX website in France, has published a letter from the Franciscan monastery in Morgon, France: Franciscan Tertiary Letter No. 266 of March/April 2015 (http://laportelatine.org/publications/editos/2015/15_04_primaute_de_la_doctrine_lettre_tertiaire_franciscaine.php).
The letter is a masterpiece, presenting in Archbishop Lefebvre’s own words the position that there must be no agreement with Rome until Rome converts.
So, given that Morgon has a history of sitting on the fence during the current crisis, given that the article is hosted by an official SSPX website, given that the French district is run by one of the most liberal Superiors, does this mean that the SSPX has again changed course? That now, the SSPX has joined the Resistance?
Let’s consider what the article is saying – it presents the view of the Archbishop, and the first Superior of the SSPX responding to a liberal priest (Dom Gerard), but all of the article, except for the final paragraph, presents what the views of these people were many years ago. Then it presents one comment of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais from 2014.
So, reading the article, you have a nice warm feeling that all is well.
However, does the article correctly portray what the SSPX leadership is currently proclaiming? Clearly not. The hierarchy proclaims to all who will listen that they want an agreement with Rome, that they intend to convert Rome from within, and that they are looking for the proper structure within Rome to accomplish this.
So why would Morgon publish this article and why would the SSPX leadership post this on their website?
Could this have anything to do with the recent events in the Resistance? In particular, the recent Consecration of Bishop Faure by Bishop Williamson? Since Bishop Faure is highly respected world-wide, they may well be afraid that the Resistance may no longer have the image of a bunch of independent, disobedient loose cannons. Remember that the SSPX is highly conscious of image these days! Perhaps the SSPX leadership is afraid that more of their currently docile priests could take heart and join the Resistance. Perhaps there are more priests like Fr MacDonald waiting for the right opportunity to make a move. Fr MacDonald did make reference to priests in England who are very solid and are not going to join Rome. In fact, there may be another Resistance priory about to be set up in London.
So, if London is waking up, maybe it is time for the SSPX to do some major damage control.
Morgon also has lost tertiaries to the Resistance, and many still inside the Third Order fraternities that report to Morgon are complaining about the lack of direction by Morgon on how to deal with the crisis. By issuing this statement, Morgon too may well be doing major damage control.
So, take the article with a grain of salt. It does reflect the position held by Archbishop Lefebvre years ago, and since Rome has not changed for the better, the article should reflect the views of Morgon and of the NSSPX today. But does it? In the case of the NSSPX, the evidence is overwhelming – it does not.
But nobody seems to clearly understand the position currently held by Morgon.