Saturday, April 13, 2024

The SSPX Remains the Leader of the Remnant Despite Sexual Abuse Cases

When I heard about the story, I chose to be silent, or even hear the details,  but now that it is out in the open being actively discussed, I will comment here.

A former district superior of the SSPX has plead guilty in Europe to molesting  children.  Bishop Fellay had know already of his sexual perversion and  still appointed him to prominent positions, including at times work with children.  

That the priest was the actual district superior over one of the largest and most prominent districts is the worst case to top the list of SSPX priests credibly accused of committing acts of sexual perversion as priests against the laity, especially children.  It is very sad and worthy of criticism.

That said, this does not gravely harm the reputation of the SSPX.  Bishop Fellay was not trying to enable pedophilia.  He actually followed the routine of bishops long before Vatican II keeping the accused priest in the priesthood, transferring them, but also punishing and getting professional help for the priest. 

There are 700 priests in the SSPX, and many who have left the SSPX or the priesthood in the past 54 years.  The list of accused priests is not so long as to demonstrate that there is more clerical abuse among their ranks per capita than in the FSSP, Institute, any religious order, or any diocese, let alone among the laity.  

And any errors in prudential judgment from Society leadership also does not demonstrate anything worse than your average decent bishop in the past trying to figure out how to handle a case of a priest committing sexual acts towards children.  Typically, these are men who were likewise abused as children, that develops in them a disease, which compels them like an addiction to abuse children.

There have been a very small percentage of SSPX priests who committed sexual acts against the laity, and children.  They have been disciplined, and in some cases brought before the law to answer for their crime.  Bishop Fellay himself and probably other leadership were very imprudent at times in how they handled these cases. which does diminish at least somewhat his legacy.  That said, Bishop Fellay has been a holy priest and bishop, doing countless things to advance the cause of Tradition.  There would never have been a Summorum Pontificum had not Bishop Fellay tirelessly talked to Rome and the pope begging for the freedom of the TLM, and to seriously hear traditionalist concerns about the Council and liturgical reform.

I pray for this priest, that he will receive a fair punishment, receive rehabilitation, and conquer his sin.  The same goes for other Society priests named in these cases. 

That said, at the heart of the post-conciliar Church is the Remnant, those Catholics remaining faithful to Tradition against modernism, and while not being the exclusive traditional group, the SSPX, despite its flaws, remains the center of the Traditional movement, and therefore is the #1 leader in the Church in terms of a) preserving Tradition and the true Mass, b) publicly maintaining the fight against the errors of the Council, liturgical reform, and papal leadership since the Council, and c) seeking to bring Rome back to Tradition. 

The SSPX as an international organization, and in terms of its history preserving Tradition, its colleges, schools, and seminaries, its priories and chapels all over the world, most of its priests working hard all week, living a holy religious life in community, and then tirelessly traveling every weekend like missionaries to provide the traditional Mass and teachings to the faithful, its many holy priests, brothers, and sisters, and the many large, devout Catholic families attending its chapels helping to promote Tradition, despite these scandals, remains a shining city on a hill.

The Society has already made its policies about accused priests more strict and showing zero tolerance.  Hopefully it can make amends to the victims, and rebuild any trust lost.  But we should continue to support the SSPX because it remains vital and central to preserving the Catholic Faith.