Bp. Schneider: Restoring Justice to SSPX

Source: District of Australia and New Zealand

H.E. Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary bishop of Maria Santissima in Astana

Bishop Schneider has been positive of the SSPX's work for years. This weekend, he suggested the idea of restoring justice after 40 years.

Recently, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has given interviews to several different media outlets, providing a clear voice in what has become a whirlwind of controversy surrounding Rome. Echoing the thoughts of many, he has recently compared the Church today to the Church in the time of the Arian crisis. He has been a visitor to seminaries of the SSPX, and has been a defender of traditional doctrine and clarity following the release of Amoris Laetitia

In an interview from this past Saturday with the French Catholic journal, Présent, Bishop Schneider discussed many of these issues. Of particular interest are the statements he made suggesting the Holy See has an obligation to restore justice to the SSPX, and how it could do so. Presented below is an excerpt from this interview.

Bishop Schneider: Rome Should Render Justice


Présent: The Holy Father has extended his permission for the priests of the Society of St. Pius X’s to hear confessions beyond the Year of Mercy. Do you see this as an important decision?

H.E. Schneider: Yes, of course, and I am very happy with it! It is a very pastoral, very merciful gesture, and in my opinion one of the most important gestures of Pope Francis’ pontificate; it is a step forward in the process of the canonical integration of this ecclesial reality that has existed for 50 years now and that bears obvious spiritual fruit. Many young families attached to the Society of St. Pius X love the Church and pray for the pope as their ancestors did before them.

The Church includes different houses, different spiritualities. Only those hostile to the Society put exaggerated demands to it. John XXIII and Paul VI always insisted upon the pastoral nature of the Council. If the Society has a hard time accepting certain Vatican II documents, we have to keep in mind the context of the Council’s pastoral objective. Dogma has not changed. We have the same faith. So there is no problem with a canonical integration of the Society of St. Pius X.

Présent: You were one of the representatives of the Church sent by the Vatican to visit the Society’s seminaries and priories. What would seem to you a possible solution for its controversial position?

H.E. Schneider: A personal prelature would be perfectly suited to the reality of the Society of St. Pius X and its mission. I am convinced that Archbishop Lefebvre would have accepted gladly and gratefully this official ecclesial structure and the Church’s recognition of the apostolate they accomplish.

It would only be restoring justice, very belatedly, after the Holy See’s unjust suppression of the Society in 1975. At the time, Archbishop Lefebvre presented an appeal. The erection of a prelature would be a way of accepting Archbishop Lefebvre’s appeal 40 years later.

As for the Society, it cannot demand 100% guarantees, that would be unrealistic: we are earth, not in Heaven! It would betray a certain lack of trust in Providence.


Our comment:

We present again the recommendations of the Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay commenting last October, 2016 about an agreement:


Do not become preoccupied all the time with these questions: 'Will there be an agreement or not?' I myself know nothing about it. We will see! We will not give in, that I know, with the grace of God. May He come to our aid! But little by little we see that work that is being accomplished over time, this crisis is awakening the little remnant. Let us pray for this intention. And to conclude, a big thank-you to Archbishop Lefebvre! We have to be very grateful to him and not forget him. And thanks also to all who support this work, to you, too, dear faithful."

Source: La Porte Latine - Official Site of SSPX District of France