In 1988, the SSPX leadership considered it to be a badge of honor and symbol of orthodoxy if they were excommunicated by the conciliar church. Below, is a 1988 letter from the SSPX major superiors asking modernist Rome to excommunicate them in order to show faithful Traditional Catholics that the SSPX is against modernism and is faithful to true Catholic teaching.

Open Letter to Cardinal Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

Ecône, July 6, 1988


Gathered around our Superior General, the Superiors of the Districts, Seminaries and autonomous houses of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X think it good to respectfully express to you the following reflections.

You thought it good, by your letter of July 1st, to inform Their Excellencies Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, and the four Bishops whom they consecrated on June 30, at Ecône, of the excommunication latæ sententiæ. We let you judge for yourself the value of such a declaration, coming from an authority who, in its exercise, breaks with all its predecessors down to Pope Pius XII, in worship, teaching and government of the Church.

As for us, we are in full communion with all the Popes and Bishops before the Second Vatican Council, celebrating precisely the Mass which they codified and celebrated, teaching the Catechism which they drew up, standing up against the errors which they have many times condemned in their encyclicals and pastoral letters. We let you judge on which side the rupture is to be found. We are extremely saddened by the blindness of spirit and the hardening of heart of the Roman authorities.

On the other hand, we have never wished to belong to this system which calls itself the Conciliar Church, and defines itself with the Novus Ordo Missæ, an ecumenism which leads to indifferentism and the laicization of all society. Yes, we have no part, nullam partem habemus, with the pantheon of the religions of Assisi; our own excommunication by a decree of Your Eminence or of another Roman Congregation would only be the irrefutable proof of this. We ask for nothing better than to be declared out of communion with this adulterous spirit which has been blowing in the Church for the last 25 years; we ask for nothing better than to be declared outside of this impious communion of the ungodly. We believe in the One God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, and we will always remain faithful to His unique Spouse, the One Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church.

To be publicly associated with this sanction which is inflicted upon the six Catholic Bishops, Defenders of the Faith in its integrity and wholeness, would be for us a mark of honor and a sign of orthodoxy before the faithful. They have indeed a strict right to know that the priests who serve them are not in communion with a counterfeit church, promoting evolution, pentecostalism and syncretism. In union with these faithful, we make ours the words of the Prophet: Præparate corda vestra Domino et servite Illi soli: et liberabit vos de manibus inimicorum vestrorum. Convertimini ad Eum in toto corde vestro, et auferte deos alienos de medio vestri—Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods (I Kings 7:3).

Confident in the protection of Her who has crushed all the heresies in the world, we assure Your Eminence of our dedication to Him Who is the only Way of salvation.

This letter is posted on sspxasia.com (emphasis added).

SSPX Complete Reversal—the New Orientation of the SSPX

Since 1988, the SSPX has completely reversed its position, all the while saying “nothing has changed”. Many of the same SSPX superiors remain in power. However, these superiors now long for recognition from the conciliar church. The “new” SSPX is horrified by what it previously described as its “badge of honor”, viz., the sanction its members received because they had stood strong for the Catholic Faith and against the conciliar faith.

Here are the positions of signers of the 1988 letter (to the extent we know their positions):

Fr. Michel Simoulin, (former) Rector, St. Pius X University

Fr. Simoulin is now adamantly pro-recognition:

To refuse to seek to reestablish canonical ties with the Church, in the state in which she exists today, as she lives and suffers today, whatever pretext may be given, is quite simply to reject the Church, which is not a Catholic thing to do.

[Catholic Candle note: the real “Catholic thing to do” is to stand up for the Catholic Faith and Christ the King!]

Fr. Franz Schmidberger, (former) Superior General

Fr. Schmidberger now promotes and predicts the SSPX will be recognized by Rome.

Fr. Paul Aulagnier, (former) District Superior, France

Father Aulagnier was liberal and shot ahead of his SSPX confreres to come to the place the “new” SSPX is only now reaching. Father Aulagnier “went indult” in 2003 and co-founded the Good Shepherd Institute. As explained in a 2006 Wanderer article:

Fr. Paul Aulagnier joins Abbé Laguérie along with three other French priests [to found the (Indult) Good Shepherd Institute]. He is a notable priest who was expelled by the SSPX in 2003 after he publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with SSPX leadership for not accepting a personal apostolic administration, reportedly with worldwide jurisdiction, similar to that of the now regularized St. John Marie Vianney Campos, Brazil, priests, with Bishop Fernando Rifan as their ordinary.

[Catholic Candle note: so-called “bishop” Rifan now says the new mass.]

Fr. Alain Lorans, (former) Superior, Seminary of Ecône

Fr. Lorans is the editor of the SSPX flagship publication, DICI. He is one of the four founders of GREC, whose goal was canonical union without a doctrinal agreement between the SSPX and modernist Rome. (see the book of Fr. Lorans’ GREC co-founder, Fr. Lelong).

Fr. Roland de Mérode, (former) Superior, Netherlands

Fr. de Mérode left the SSPX because of its liberalism and joined the Resistance to SSPX liberalism.

Fr. Daniel Couture, (former) Superior, Ireland

Fr. Couture, was made District Superior of the Asian District and then was promoted to District Superior of Canada. He was an “early adopter” of the “new” SSPX position that the SSPX should seek recognition from modernist Rome. See the May-August 2012 Asian District newsletter.

Fr. François Laisney, (former) District Superior, United States

Fr. Laisney now fully supports recognition by modernist Rome. He wrote a 2012 article supporting modernist Rome’s recognition of the “new” SSPX. He asked (and tried to answer) this question that he posed for himself:

Question: Why has Bishop Fellay made a U-turn in the “no doctrinal resolution, then there can be no canonical agreement” policy that the SSPX leadership had been preaching for the last several years [i.e., in 2006, etc.]?

Fr. Laisney’s response is that the SSPX won’t compromise to get recognition because the (new) SSPX will “ask more guarantees” but that the SSPX must “be realistic” and not ask for too much. Here are his words:

So the important thing is not to compromise the truth in order to “buy” a canonical situation. That was the big error of the different ecclesia Dei societies: they “bought” their approval at the price of condemning Archbishop Lefebvre; they did not have any “guarantees”, because they were beggars, and beggars are not choosers. Today we are not the beggars; those in Rome who want a return to better doctrine, they are those asking us to help them. So we do not compromise the truth to get this canonical situation. This is the very first principle Bishop Fellay told us (in Cor Unum): no compromise on the Faith! And he is in a position to ask more guarantees for the protection of our apostolate. But one ought to be realistic, and not to make these guarantees into impossibilities.

Bold emphasis added; italic emphasis in the original. Among other ways Fr. Laisney’s article was publicized was by emails sent by Fr. Kevin Robinson to promote the deal that the “new” SSPX was pursuing in 2012. We at Catholic Candle received a copy from Fr. Robinson then.

Catholic Candle note: The “new” SSPX continually weakens and becomes more liberal to please modernist Rome. They are very much “beggars” who “can’t be choosers” as Fr. Laisney notes about the other indult groups.

Fr. Jean Michel Faure, (former) District Superior of Mexico

Fr. Faure left the SSPX because of its liberalism and was consecrated a bishop for the Resistance in 2015, by Bishop Williamson.

Fr. Edward Black, (former) District Superior, Great Britain

Fr. Black became district superior of Australia in 2000 but did not vocally support the new SSPX liberalism and pursuit of recognition from Rome. He was demoted in August 2012. As he wrote then regarding the “new” SSPX’s attempted recognition in 2012, I quite deliberately made no public observation about these matters. SSPX Australia District Newsletter—August 2012 (emphasis added).