I have learned on Cathinfo, (and checked on DICI and it is confirmed by them today), that the General Chapter of the SSPX has created two new high-echelon administrative posts to its managerial structure. Indeed, the Chapter has instituted the function of “General Councillor”, to be exercised by two SSPX members elected by the Chapter. Their official duty is to assist the General Superior (and his two Assistants) in the daily administration of the Society. They will be part of the General Council.
Now, this is a novelty for the Society. Indeed, I looked back at my copy of the SSPX Statutes, and it is very clear that its General Council is traditionally composed of the General Superior and his two General Assistants. So now, with this new creation, the Council will have five members instead of three.
While it is entirely within the powers of the General Chapter to make such a change to the Statutes, such a move, at such a period in the history of the Society, raises some serious questions. This is amplified by the fact that the two officials elected by the Chapter to fill the new positions are none other than Bishop Bernard Fellay, and Fr. Franz Schmidberger!
Those familiar with the liberal route adopted officially by the Society since 2012, at its latest General Chapter, and unofficially since the approval of the GREC in 1997 by Bishop Fellay, will immediately see the importance of these two factors. (For those who do not know, the GREC was a group formed of SSPX and Indult and Novus Ordo priests, created for the purpose of effecting a reconciliation between non-converted Rome and the SSPX).
Indeed, the creation of these two positions, and the nomination of these two officials to fill them, cannot signify anything else but an intensification of the efforts by the General Chapter to have the Society reach an official agreement with non-converted Rome.
And I reach this conclusion for a few reasons:
1-The development of the Society since the last Chapter (2012) is not such that the usual General Council needs to have two additional members to run the Society in its day-to-day operation.
2-The original Statutes already provide the former General Council with the mechanisms ensuring it could get additional, and temporary, help from any other member of the Society, whenever it feels it needs it. This was done, for instance, at the October 2011 meeting of the Major Superiors in Albano, which gathered up to study the propositions made by Rome the month before. Such mechanisms are well spelled out in the old SSPX Statutes. Therefore, there was no need to create these two new positions, unless…
3-The two persons chosen to be the first General Councillors have both had frequent and important meetings with Roman Officials, sometimes even with Popes, during the time they were General Superiors (1982-1994 / 1994-2018). It is therefore a prudent assumption to think that they have been elected by the Chapter BECAUSE they had such a vast experience in dealing with Modern Rome, and BECAUSE their position in favor of such an agreement is well documented.
4-This being said, I think it is not far-fetched to believe that these two new positions were, in fact, CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR THESE TWO PEOPLE, so that they could work “behind-the-scenes” with Roman dignitaries, while having some level of official credibility in the eyes of Rome. Thus these two General Councillors could be used by the General Superior as a “Special Committee” charged with doing the ground work for preparing an agreement with Rome.
5-While this “Special Committee” would work behind the scenes with Roman officials, the General Superior himself, and his two General Assistants, could keep their official distance from such negotiations. Thus they could, if necessary, invoke a “plausible denial” when faced with uncomfortable questioning regarding the relations of the Society with Rome.
In other words: Such a change to the Statutes of the Society is a clear indicator that the General Chapter “means business” with the issue of an agreement with non-converted Rome. The Major Superiors have learned the hard way that such a move had to be done with the best tools available, and not hapharzadly like before. They seem to have realized that the original Statutes defining the administrative mechanisms of the Society were not adapted to the requirements of achieving a deal with Rome. Indeed, the tumults experienced since 2012 showed them that such negotiations had to be done more “prudently”, in order to avoid an open resistance from the Society’s rank-and-file members. Therefore, they changed the Statutes, and chose Bp. Fellay and Fr. Schmidberger to fill the new positions.
This is nothing else than a deliberate blinding of the intellect and hardening of the heart. Instead of listening to the serious and compelling arguments of the Resistance against an agreement with non-converted Rome, the General Chapter has decided to change the Statutes so as to get such an official “recognition” from Rome. Let us hope that this imitation of Pharao’s obstinacy will not bring upon the Society the Plagues God had sent to Egypt!
Let us continue to pray and sacrifice! Only God can save us!