One of the reasons I no longer give money to the Society of St. Pius X is that their leadership is drunk on liberalism. That and they don’t know how to use their resources.
Take, for instance, Angelus Press. In the 1990s, Angelus was everything a Lefebvrist publishing house should be. Today, as a result of the Society’s human respect-driven branding campaign, it is but a shadow of its former self.
IHS Press, Mediatrix Press, In the Spirit of Chartres, Hugh Akins and others have arguably taken Angelus’ place, which has essentially gone the way of TAN Books.
The latest Society flop is FSSPX/News. Launched in April of 2017, the Society’s replacement for DICI is, sadly, yet predictably, an utter disaster. Ostensibly meant to inform Society faithful from a Traditional perspective about the goings on in the world, FSSPX/News is basically a more conservative version of National Catholic Register. At times, an even less conservative version of it, often just regurgitating whatever the mainstream Catholic media reports on.
The articles on the FSSPX News website are not “news” reports but instead dutiful copy and paste jobs performed by pro-“regularization” priests and SSPX lay employees, with almost all the articles parroted from the French-based La Croix.
The naiveté of those involved in the operation manifests itself in two ways. 1) The stories selected for publication and 2) How current events are “reported” on.
A review of the site indicates whoever operates FSSPX News is a) unfamiliar with the fault lines between “conservative” Catholicism and Traditionalism b) unfamiliar with how Abp. Lefebvre understood the crisis in the Church and c) unfamiliar with or afraid to speak the truth about current events.
There are simply too many absurd news reports to draw your attention to. (One story tried to claim that a Masonic-esque message from Pope Francis to French leader Emmanuel Macron was an instance of the Pope preaching the Catholic faith.) One has to wonder if Rome isn’t asking the SSPX to kindly share Vatican-approved stories (read here and here) with their readers as a sort of goodwill gesture.
Either way, those who select the news for the site seem to be driven by several goals and tactics:
- To make it seem as though Tradition is growing (this is often done by quoting “conservative” Bishops and Cardinals on issues like Amoris Laetitia, abortion, and the like). This gives the appearance that the Society has many allies in the conciliar Church and that a deal with Rome would only help turn the tide.
- Criticize the Pope and Modernist Rome but only by quoting extensively non-SSPX priests and Bishops instead of providing statements directly by SSPX leadership (an indirect, subtle method the SSPX uses in order to make the claim that the Society “hasn’t changed”).
- Praise the positive things conciliar Bishops and priests do (i.e. take a stand against sodomy laws, euthanasia, etc., read here) while remaining silent on their scandalous statements regarding inter-religious dialogue, ecumenism, synodality, etc.
What this strange brew of liberalism and Tradition results in is a defanged, confused Society that, to use a sports analogy, is playing not to lose instead of playing to win. Put another way, FSSPX/News is more concerned with how its reporting makes them appear to non-SSPX’ers than with reporting the truth. They want to be seen as calm and rational. Of course, this mistaken approach is to be expected. As the ever-prudent Bp. Fellay once said, now is not the time to make a lot of noise.
In a recent article just published this week on the death of dubia signator Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the SSPX wrote these shocking sentences:
Bishop Meisner was acquainted with Cardinal Karol Wojtyła and shared with him a keen sense of the interdependence of Christian faith and the moral fabric of society. “Without God, there is no culture.” He became close friends with Pope John Paul II and, like him, was a fearless defender of the sacredness of human life. “With the de facto legalization of abortion [in Germany], we have led society onto a path that leads to inhumanity and barbarism.”
Who knew? John Paul II — who rejected the Social Kingship of Christ and who ‘excommunicated’ Marcel Lefebvre — possessed a “keen sense of the interdependence of Christian faith and the moral fabric of society.” Does the SSPX really believe this?
The last paragraph of that essay adds this:
Despite his conservative leanings, the late Cardinal, admittedly, was not a friend of Tradition and was not favorable toward Summorum Pontificum. Moreover, he was also critical of the SSPX’s activities, particularly within his former diocese. Even so, Meisner remained a stalwart champion of a conservative approach to Catholic moral teaching despite criticism from his fellow German churchmen.
It’s high time the Society of St. Pius X got out of the “news” business and got into the truth telling business. FSSPX/News is an occasion of sin. Human respect is getting the best of the Society.
A simple suggestion would be to build up the Angelus Press blog by allowing priests to provide commentary or post their sermons on current events instead of having FSSPX/News write an “objective,” AP-style report on secular news — something priests aren’t trained to do. Christ didn’t say “go forth and preach about random happenings in other lands.” He said go forth and preach the Gospel.
What the SSPX needs to do is get back to reminding the Pope that he needs to convert to Tradition. To remain silent in the face of such a calamitous, ruinous papacy and to instead draw the attention of Catholics to the domestic policies of India (read here) is a betrayal of the mission Abp. Lefebvre gave to the Society.