In a special letter dated May 15,
2012, Father Arnaud Rostand, the Superior of the United States District of the
SSPX, commented on the recent leak of private correspondence between three
bishops of the Society and the General Council.
I want to denounce the immorality, as well as the revolutionary
nature, of publishing such private documents. If it can be grave matter to read
private letters, as moral theology teaches, it is even more serious to publish
or distribute them without the permission of the authors. Furthermore, it is
subversive to publish private discussions between superiors because it puts
undue pressure on them. A superior must be able to make a decision in view of
the common good and not because of any pressures….
It is essential to remember that letters of this kind are normal
ways of communicating between members of the Society on a very important
matter. It is normal and good that bishops or even priests of the Society
should be able to express their personal opinions in a respectful way and in a
spirit of charity. Once again it is their publication without the consent of
both parties, which is unacceptable.
Father Rostand went on to emphasize
three “principles that must guide us today”: respect for the Superior General’s
authority, “our attachment to eternal Rome,” and “the indispensable defense of
the Faith in time of crisis.”
With regard to the first, Father Rostand
recalled that “Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre himself wanted the matter
of our relations with Rome to be handled and decided by the Superior General”
after he, the founder, passed away. “It is clear that the Superior General has
the responsibility of the Society of St. Pius X and will render an account to
Almighty God.” Both of the leaked
letters acknowledge Bishop Fellay’s authority in such a matter.
On the one hand, in the letter of the three bishops, the
respectful pleading not to make a purely practical agreement implies the
recognition of the Superior General's authority to make such a decision. On the
other hand, in the General Council’s letter, this principle is reaffirmed. If
there is a disagreement on what to do, there is nevertheless respect and
recognition of the principle of authority.
Second, while protesting the “neo-Modernist tendencies of our
times,” the SSPX has remained attached to Rome.
As the Catholic Church is at the same time both human and divine,
it is necessary to have a supernatural approach to the actual problems within
the Catholic Church. This is why we reaffirm our Faith in Eternal Rome, with
Pope Benedict XVI as the Vicar of Jesus Christ and visible head of His Church….
Finally, Bishop Fellay has repeatedly stated that the SSPX is
committed to fight for the faith, denounce errors and foster Tradition, even
within a possible canonical structure.
Our Superior General and his assistants have expressed their
conviction that the possibility of a personal prelature is not a trap. This is
a prudential question and different opinions are possible, but the final
decision belongs only to the Superior General.
I have been regularly and recently in contact with His Excellency
Bishop Fellay and other superiors of the Society. Further, I can assure you of
the unity which exists in our District, following the line of Archbishop
Lefebvre, which continues to be manifested today. Do not be disturbed by media
reports, which may prematurely, and without sufficient information, prophesy